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Recipe: Filet of US Kobe Beef Steak au Poivre

Having received samples of Wagyu beef from Mishima Ranch US Kobe Beef and grass fed beef from Long Valley Ranch, I was anxious to cook the steaks “just the right way” to ensure the optimal experience and to be able to evaluate the differences between the two steaks.

I was surprised to see so few recipes for US Kobe beef filet or Wagyu beef filet online and finally decided to prepare one of my all time favorite recipes for filet mignon – Steak au Poivre – one of the most famous French food recipes. I wondered if the rich sauce made of cognac and creme fraiche would be too rich for the Wagyu beef filet, but I decided to go ahead and try it. And I’m glad I did! The result was delicious. Half way through the meal, I had the absurd idea of adding seared foie gras to the already rich Wagyu beef steak.  Amazingly, I thought the recipe and overall culinary experience was even better with the foie gras.

The US Kobe beef I used was the top grade “Mishima Ranch American Style Kobe Beef”.  Though the filet was well marbled, the cut was still quite lean, which is probably why the rich sauce and foie gras worked.  The Long Valley Ranch filet was also lean, with no significant marbling.  I prepared both steaks exactly the same in order to get a try sense of the differences between the two.

Both steaks worked equally well, and frankly, any good quality filet mignon could be used in this recipe.  I personally have a preference for a more tender steak, and the Mishima Ranch US Kobe Beef was by far more tender.  Both steaks were cooked rare (which is recommended for any type of Wagyu beef), and both steaks were juicy and flavorful.  The Mishima Ranch US Kobe Beef had a more delicate and sweet flavor, where the Long Valley Ranch steak was bolder and meatier.  Both steaks were delicious, but my preference overall was the Mishima Ranch and therefore, I’ve written the recipe using US Kobe beef.

US Kobe Beef Steak au Poivre

Ingredients:

Two 6 oz Mishima Ranch US Kobe Beef Filets

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon crushed black pepper corns

sea salt

3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1 teaspoon green peppercorns

Two 2 oz portions of raw foie gras, salted  (optional)

Instructions:

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking the steaks.  Crush the black peppercorns (there should be large pieces of pepper, and virtually no “powder”).  Sprinkle sea salt and the black peppercorns on both sides of the steaks and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium high and add the butter.  When the butter is melted, but not brown, add the steaks to the pan.  Cook the steaks about four minutes total, two minutes on each side, or until nicely brown and crispy on the outside, but still rare on the inside.  Adjust to medium heat and carefully pour the Cognac or brandy over the steaks in the skillet, and immediately light on fire by turning the pan to catch the flame of the gas burner, or by using a match.  Turn the steaks in the pan once, then remove the steaks.  This must all be done quickly, or the Cognac will reduce to nothing.

With the heat still on medium (or possibly medium low), add the creme fraiche to the reduced Cognac and butter mixture.  Stir immediately to incorporate.  Add the green pepper corns and adjust salt to taste.  Serve each steak on a warm plate and cover with half the sauce.

If using foie gras, sear the foie gras for about one minute on each side while preparing the plates.  Serve the foie gras on top of the steak.

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