Filets Mignons Lili

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(From "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner," by Rick Archbold & Dana McCauley. Hyperion, copyright 1997.)

6 filets mignons (2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon each of butter and vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 foie gras (goose liver) medallions
6 cooked artichoke hearts, quartered
6 slices black truffle (optional)

2 tablespoons butter
3 large shallots or 1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup each of cognac, Madeira and red wine
3 cups homemade beef stock
Salt and pepper

serve with Potatoes Anna

SAUCE: In saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat; add shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato paste, bay leaf and rosemary until well combined. Stir in cognac, Madeira and red wine; bring to boil. Boil for 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in beef stock. Boil for 15 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup. Strain into clean pot set over low heat and whisk in remaining butter. Season to taste. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. In large skillet, melt butter with vegetable oil over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes; increase heat to medium-high and add filets mignons. Cook, turning once, for 10-12 minutes or until well-browned but still pink in middle. Remove from pan and let stand, tented with foil, for about 5 minutes. Wipe out pan and return to high heat. Add foie gras and cook for 30 seconds per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve. Gently toss artichokes in pan juices and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Cut cooked potato round into 6 portions and place 1 piece, upside down, on each of 6 heated plates; top with a filet mignon, followed by a slice of foie gras and a truffle slice (if using). Ladle sauce around edge of plate; garnish with artichokes. Makes 6 servings.

TIPS: Because this sauce is a reduction, the beef stock must be homemade if the sauce is to thicken properly. It is better to use two skillets to cook the meat than to crowd the filets.

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