Servings: Serves 6–8
- 3 pounds beef fillet , trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound bacon , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 1/2 cups good dry red wine , such as a burgundy or Chianti
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 pound pearl onions , peeled
- 8 to 10 carrots , cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound mushrooms (cultivated or wild), sliced 1/4 inch thick
Using a sharp knife, cut fillet crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices (for about 8 fillets). Season each piece with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on both sides. In a large heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, sauté fillets in batches with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, until browned outside and very rare inside, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove fillets from pan and set aside on a platter.
In the same pan, sauté bacon over medium-low heat 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Deglaze pan with red wine and cook on high heat 1 minute, scraping pan bottom. Add beef stock, tomato paste and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes. Strain sauce and return to pan. Add onions and carrots and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until sauce is reduced and vegetables are cooked.
In a small bowl, mash 2 tablespoons butter and flour into a paste using a fork, then whisk gently into sauce in pan. Simmer 2 minutes to thicken.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, sauté mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil about 10 minutes, until browned and tender.
Add beef slices, mushrooms and cooked bacon to pan with vegetables and sauce. Cover and reheat gently, 5 to 10 minutes. If the mixture doesn't have enough liquid, add more red wine. Season to taste and serve immediately.
Recommended technique: To peel onions easily, first blanch one to two minutes in boiling water.