Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce

BY BILL ST. JOHN
Oh, yeah: steak, butter, cream. Who ya gonna call? Red wine. But not just any red wine: you need — your palate needs — something rich in tannin, an organic substance found in many plant tissues, including grape skins and stems and oak barrels. Add together these three latter elements and it’s a recipe for red wine. You already know tannin: It’s in tea leaves, walnut and almond skins, too-long-chewed Popsicle sticks. Tannin binds with fat and blood protein to make them seem less oleaginous; they in turn soften tannin’s astringency. They need each other and you need tannin.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

• 2 filet mignon steaks
• butter
• 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
• 1/4 cup dry red wine, for deglazing
• 1/2 cup beef broth
• 1/4 cream

Makes: 2 servings
[1] Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. [2] Cook 2 filet mignon steaks, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove steaks from skillet; keep warm. [3] Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet; add 12 ounces sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate. [4] Deglaze skillet with 1/4 cup dry red wine. Stir in 1/2 cup beef broth; increase heat to high. Cook until syrupy and reduced by half, about 4 minutes. [5] Decrease heat to low; stir in 1/4 cup cream. [6] Return mushrooms to the sauce; cook 1 minute. Serve over the steaks.

And the wines?

Château Allégret Bordeaux
On both the nose and the palate there are tart red and black cherry, grass, pepper spice, and clay notes. This Bordeaux blend is the perfect medium-bodied red for all occasions, large or small.

Château Maison Neuve Clotilde
Fresh blackberries on the nose with a few hints of baking spice. Very modern in style, notes of vanilla, plum and red berries. Very well balanced with soft tannins. Great everyday Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend.

Tortoise Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Full-bodied and crammed full of aromas and flavors of red and black cherries. This wine finishes with notes of vanilla and cedar. Perfect for red meat.