Though one can put all sorts of things on steaks and fillets, the bottled sauces one finds in the US really haven't caught on in Italy. What one does often encounter is a simple pickled green peppercorn sauce. It's perfect with pan-cooked or grilled fillet.
Yield: 4 servings fillet with green peppercorn sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
• 4 slices beef fillet, weighing 8-10 ounces (200-250 g) each
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) brandy
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
• 4 tablespoons pickled green peppercorns (you can also use pink peppercorns if you want, or a mixture)
• Salt and black pepper to taste
Begin by coarsely grinding three tablespoons of the peppercorns, ideally in a mortar, though a blender will work.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan and sear the fillets on both sides, then reduce the flame and cook them until they reach the stage of doneness you prefer, at the most 10 minutes in all. Remove them to a heated platter.
Pour the brandy into the pan, light it, and gently stir until the flames have gone out. At this point stir in the cream (add it slowly) and the peppercorns, season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon it over the fillets. The wine? A Pinot Nero, perhaps. In any case, enjoy!
TUSCAN ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES
Yields 2-4 servings
• 2 pints fingerling potatoes
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 2 to 3 sprigs fresh sage
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 6 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus for sheet pan
• Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking sheet inside to heat.
Add potatoes, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet pan from oven, lightly coat with olive oil, and pour potatoes onto pan. Place potatoes in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside.