Filet Steak & Peppered Asparagus with Sweet Potato
Green peppercorn and asparagus make a wonderful partnership in this indulgent steak recipe.
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: 40 mins
Filet Steak & Peppered Asparagus with Sweet Potato
Cream-based sauces were designed to be poured over perfectly grilled steaks. It’s either that, or using a dollop of mustard for said steak, or (shock-horror) ketchup — and I know which one I’d rather have. If you like your steak laced with a creamy pepper sauce then try this alternative approach with seasonal asparagus. Asparagus shows wonderful versatility where it is chopped up in the sauce alongside the dried green peppercorns as well as served roasted whole alongside the main. The richer, roasted and sautéd asparagus flavors come through and blend with the fresher, unripe vegetal flavor of the green peppercorn. These fuller flavors balance really well with the robustness of the steak.
In this recipe I have opted for a fillet steak, or filet mignon (if you want to be French about it – and in this case, I do as that’s the best part of the fillet). Whichever steak you choose, I highly advise going with a cut that has minimal amounts of fat. You should always be able to slice easily through a lean steak drenched in a thick sauce and not have to battle with hidden fat or gristle. Any dining decorum goes out the window when you find yourself unexpectedly struggling with a particularly fatty steak swimming around in a sloppy sauce. Save those types of cuts for a dry fry. Sirloin steak can work too but you may need to trim the sides first. I would also avoid steaks with bones such as a t-bone which are better suited to a dry rub than a sauce, in my opinion.
The richer, roasted and sautéd asparagus flavors come through and blend with the fresher, unripe vegetal flavor of the green peppercorn.
There are four simple rules for grilling steak and they are:
- Pat dry and leave to rest at room temperature for up to 1 hour before grilling.
- The grill needs to be hot-hot-hot beforehand. Expect smoke. The BBQ was designed for grilling steaks, not least because its exterior location won’t set off any smoke alarms and have you flinging your tea towel around desperately.
- Prepare the steak with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired and coat all sides with melted butter or vegetable oil to lock in the flavor and prevent drying out.
- After grilling, leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before eating.
I am a big fan of roasted sweet potato as it makes a great carb and is a colorful alternative to roast potatoes. Just like roasting regular potatoes, the oven needs to be preheated and really hot – about 425 degrees F. You then blast the sweet potatoes with oven heat for about 20 minutes to seal the outsides before turning the oven down to a respectable temperature (otherwise known as 350F). Continue roasting the potatoes until the edges are firm and caramelized, and the insides are soft and gooey.
This truly indulgent dish needs a bottle of red wine with spice and good tannic grip to cut through the proteins in the steak. I suggest either a Californian Zinfandel, a Southern Rhone blend or an Australian shiraz to match the peppery flavors and complexity of the sauce.
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Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
Remove the steaks from the fridge and prepare by removing any unwanted fat and pat dry with kitchen towel. Leave at room temperature for up to 1 hour before grilling.
Coat the sweet potato wedges in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking tray. Place into the center of a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes then adjust the temperature to 390 Fahrenheit for a further 20 minutes. Turn over a couple of times during roasting to avoid burning.
Meanwhile, sauté the finely chopped asparagus chunks in 1 tablespoon butter until they start to brown. Take off the heat and set aside.
After the oven temperature has been reduced to 390 Fahrenheit, place the 12 whole asparagus on an appropriately sized oven dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the same oven as the sweet potato for the final 20 minutes at 390 degrees F.
Heat up the grill/BBQ to about 450 degrees F. Position x4 fillet steaks on the grill and brush the top with a little melted butter. Lower lid and turn down heat to about 400 degrees F. Turn the steaks over only once to maintain the juices and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter over the top of each steak. Grill to your desired preference and remove from the grill. Set aside to rest before serving.
Depending on steak thickness, the grilling times at 400 degrees F are approximately 2-5 minutes for rare, 5-10 minutes medium rare, 10-15 minutes medium and 15+ minutes for medium well.
Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the crumbled beef stock and whisk together.
Add the 3 teaspoons of dijon mustard and continue whisking.
Stir in the crushed green peppercorns and sautéed asparagus chunks.
5 minutes before serving, mix 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add the cream to the dijon mustard mix. Turn down the heat and continue to stir making sure the asparagus chunks do not catch the base of the pan. The sauce will thicken as the cornstarch heats up. If it gets too thick add a tablespoon of water.
On each of the 4 dining plates, arrange the sweet potato, arugula, halved cherry tomatoes and steak. Pour the peppered asparagus sauce over the steak and lay 3 or so roasted asparagus spears on the steak or on the side. It should taste divine!
The finished masterpiece!
- 2 x pinches of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 4 x large sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced into long wedges
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup melted butter for the crust
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 24 asparagus: 12 left whole for roasting & 12 finely chopped
- 3 cups Arugula
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
For the peppered asparagus sauce:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 reduced sodium beef bouillon stock cube, crumbled
- 3 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp whole dried peppercorns – roughly crushed
- 1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp cornstarch
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Who’s Cooking Today
I’ve sampled exotic and unusual foods on my travels, but nothing beats coming home and sharing my experiences in the kitchen and in my writing. I love the sticky leftover goo of barbecued pork ribs that my kids can’t quite polish off on their own; I yearn for the safe and homely aroma of roast chicken as I pull it from the oven; I adore the sizzle and smell of broiled bacon on a wet Sunday morning. Food will always be my friend as it is meant for sharing. You can enjoy my written and visual translation of taste at jambip.com or via the various social media channels.
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