Behold the fate of my inter-state mushroom smuggling. (P.s. it was so worth it).
If there’s one thing that goes well with mushrooms, in my mind, it’s steak. Filet Mignon is always my favorite cut. I know other people might prefer Ribeye or another fattier cut of meat, but I have a strong preference for the filet. Not only is it flavorful, but it is melt-in-your mouth tender. Mmmmm yum! Sadly, that level of deliciousness comes with a pricetag. Luckily I was able to find some on sale at Whole Foods by shopping at 9:30pm on Memorial Day. They were basically down to the dregs of meats for grilling, but the nice man at the butcher counter was able to procure me their 2 very last filets. Score!
Morels are a fun mushroom to cook with if you don’t mind a little dirty work. If you can get them fresh, like I did, it’s definitely worth it. These mushrooms are from the Portland Farmer’s Market and flew back to San Diego with me in my luggage. I was surprised at how well they hold up! For being so delicate once cooked, they are quite a hardy mushroom. If you can get fresh, please do, but they are probably more commonly accessible in dried form. If using dried, you want to make sure to adequately soak them to re-hydrate the mushrooms before using. Then, follow the recipe as is.
The main issue with fresh morels is cleaning them properly. If you look online there are a lot of opinions on how to do this, but most commonly is the argument about salt-water soaking vs. not salt-water soaking. Some people claim the soak will ruin the flavor of the mushroom and recommend just dusting the visible dirt off the mushroom before cooking. However, the morels are a mushroom that are a lot more likely to trap dirt and debrit due to the various crevices on the ‘shroom. My morels did indeed have a few small critters and dirt inside. I decided I would be way more horrified to actually eat an insect than I would be to have a sub-par flavored morel, so I elected to go with the salt-water soak. This worked out just fine for me, and honestly, the flavor was absolutely delicious. If you also elect to soak your fresh morels, 1 hour in very salty water will be adequate.
Filet Mignon with Morel Sauce for Two
_For the Beef_
- 2 6 oz beef tenderloin filets 3 inches
- canola oil
- salt and pepper
_For the Morel Mushroom Sauce_
- ¼ lb morel mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small shallot minced fine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Bring filets to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450.
- Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet on high heat. While pan is heating, dry filets thoroughly and then brush with canola oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Sear beef for 3 minutes on either side. Then transfer to oven. Bake for an additional 5 minutes for medium rare.
- Meanwhile, slice mushrooms into quarters and prepare minced shallots.
- Heat butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Add shallot and morels. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until morels are softened.
- Add cream and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced.
- Serve poured over steak.