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America's Test Kitchen 7x10

Meat and Potatoes for Company

We found a unique way to tame the bite on our pepper-crusted filet mignon.

Few main courses are as impressive as filet mignon, but such cachet comes with a hefty price tag. The hallmark of this luxury cut is its buttery, tender texture, but some argue that the beefy flavor is too mild, lacking the oomph of fattier (albeit chewier) cuts like the rib eye. So we aimed to boost the meat’s flavor with a lively peppercorn crust and a rich pan sauce. Peppercorn crusts, however, have their issues. They can be overwhelmingly spicy, masking, rather than enhancing, the flavor of the meat. We’d need to strike just the right balance. Getting the crust to evenly adhere to the meat would be a challenge too. In looking for a potato dish to serve alongside our steak, we quickly settled on the simple, but elegant, potatoes Lyonnaise—sautéed slices of buttery potato sweetened with caramelized strands of onion. But getting this dish just right can be a challenge. Buttery potatoes can easily turn greasy. And caramelizing the onion alongside the potatoes is difficult to do without steaming them. We’d need to find a way to get these two ingredients in sync. When you’re aiming to impress and willing to splurge a bit, you can be confident that these dishes will deliver.


Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon

Port Cherry Reduction Sauce

Blue Cheese Chive Butter

Potatoes Lyonnaise

Tasting Lab: Filet Mignon

Equipment Center: Cocktail Shakers

Science Desk: Taming Peppercorn Heat

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×10
Mar. 10, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7