Sunday, December 8, 2013

Simple Winemaker's Dinner Recipe: Filet Mignon, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Asparagas

Filet Mignon, Medium Rare. Pair it
with Blue-Merle Winery "Merleatage."
I have been serving this meal since I graduated from high school. Easy enough for a young bachelor to make. The first occasion was a slide show for my friends after my first trip to Europe. The recipe is a filet mignon - Béarnaise sauce optional - a potato dish, asparagus and a tomato dish.

Start with the potatoes. Peel them then slice. Slice an onion and place on top of potatoes in a cooking pan and add beef bouillon. Cook until done. Then, sprinkle Gruyere Cheese on top.

The tomato dish is also simple. Start with large beefsteak tomatoes. Slice in half, add a pat of butter on top of each tomato-half and drizzle with olive oil. Dash with dill if available. Cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. I would now recommend Hawaii Kai natural sea salt. A sprig of parsley. Ready.

The easy way for me to prepare asparagus is to place in pan, dash with olive oil, and then a bit of water. This will steam / boil the asparagus slightly to soften it up - then finish sautéing in olive oil, and if you're feeling decadent some butter. I love to finish off this dish with fresh lemon juice - which we have the luxury of picking from our orchard - and of course a little Hawaiian sea salt.

The fastest to cook of these dishes is the filet. I set the oven to broil. Place the filets on aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil. And place under the broiler. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the filets and how you prefer them. For us, medium rare, sanglante. When finished, sprinkle a little Hawaii Kai sea salt on top.

Back in the day when I first made this meal I was a French wine aficionado, and would have served a Bordeaux. The most versatile wine we have for this meal is our 2009 "Merleatage," a blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah - in equal amounts - and then some Cab and a touch of Tempranillo to spice. The food brings out the fruit in the wine, which is easy to drink and has a nice structure, tannins and spice. The Petit Verdot provides a floral nose.

Writing this is making me hungry. Bon appetite!