Roasted Filet Mignon with Cauliflower Puree + Wine Resolutions #5 and #20

For busy holidays, we like to stay in and cook a great meal (see recent New Year’s post). This Valentine’s Day, we decided to bring the restaurant to our kitchen and serve grilled filet with French fries. (More about dessert coming soon – but I’ll give you a hint: chocolate, chocolate and chocolate.) The wine fulfilled Wine Resolutions #5 and #20: Take notes on a fine wine from beginning to end, and shatter your price limit.


We chose Sunstone’s 2005 Eros, a merlot and cabernet blend. We’ve had this wine before, at the vineyard, where they served a taste alongside chocolate. I’m going to say this shattered our price limit, but have to confess that while technically this is a $58 bottle of wine (the most we’ve spent in recent years is around $34), we found the same wine on a shelf in Cost Plus for a mere $29.99. We actually had to look at the label to be sure it was correct. But there it was, a bottle of Eros half off, and you didn’t have to twist our arm to buy it.

So, on to the wine. A smell just after opening the bottle revealed aromas of blackberry and spice, and the taste was slightly peppery. But just twenty minutes later, it smelled and tasted like a different wine. It smelled sweeter, like plum, and the pepper was milder on the palate, only hitting your taste buds at the end. It went perfectly with our filet, and during dinner we marveled at how this little experiment revealed so much about how wines develop.


Roasted Filet Mignon with Cauliflower Puree

Recipe inspired by Ariane Duarte (Top Chef) and Tyler Florence


For beef
2 filet mignon steaks
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped (for garnish)

For puree
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp. butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 sprigs thyme


For the puree:
Place all ingredients in a medium sized pot.  Add enough water to just cover vegetables. Let everything come to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 35 minutes, until everything is soft.

Discard thyme. Put mixture into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add butter one tablespoon at a time, then cream as necessary. Continue pureeing until smooth. Season with more salt and pepper.  To keep warm, place puree into a large glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.

For the beef:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan, add olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Sear each side for three minutes, then put the pan in the oven and roast until the meat is medium-rare, about 9-10 minutes.  Set meat aside to rest before slicing.

To serve, place some puree on each plate, then place sliced filet on top.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.