Guys, I actually timed this one. Less than an hour. For all of it. Start to finish, including vegetable chopping.
And it’s honestly one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in this short amount of time. The flavors are diverse and complex, and the ingredients (or some version of them) can be found in most grocery stores. It’s fancy, it’s accessible, it’s easier than it looks, and it’s not steak and potatoes.
The secret to getting it done quickly is utilizing multiple pans, and having multiple burners going at once. In the recipe, I’ll lay out the exact system I used so that you can maximize your time, and get on to more important things… ya know, like eating. You can also use any cut of steak you prefer, but filets are small, so they cook quickly, and they’re always luxurious. I also used them because I received these as a gift from my grandmother and aunt-in-law (can’t go wrong with a gift like that– SO good!)
Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two in Less than 1 Hour | Filet Mignon with Shitake Risotto and Citrus-Glazed Endives
For the Steaks:
2 T olive oil
2 filet mignon steaks (room temperature)
Coarse sea salt
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T butter
1/3 c. water
For the Risotto:
2 T olive oil
1/2 c. white wine
1.5 c. arborio rice
5-6 c. chicken stock
1/2 white onion
1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
8 oz fresh shitake mushrooms
2 T butter
For the Baby Broccoli:
1/3 c. chopped raw bacon or pancetta
1 bunch (about 1 lb) fresh baby broccoli
Juice/fat from steaks
salt and pepper to taste
For the Endives:
1 T olive oil
1-2 Belgian endives
Juice from 2 oranges
Salt to taste
1 small head radicchio
Step 1: Take room temperature steaks and gently dress all sides with a liberal coating of salt (it will be more than you think), then sprinkle with pepper. Set aside. Finely dice white onion for risotto, then wash and slice mushrooms as well. Set aside. Add chicken stock to a small pot, and bring to a simmer. Take a skillet with tall sides and bring it to medium heat on a large burner.
Step 2: Once skillet is hot, add olive oil from risotto recipe and swirl. Add onions, then stir until translucent. Add mushrooms and let cook over medium heat until soft and shiny. While mushrooms are cooking, take a cast iron skillet and begin to heat it over another burner on medium heat. In the risotto skillet, add uncooked arborio rice and let toast lightly, stirring constantly. Once rice is slightly translucent on the edges, add wine. When wine is mostly absorbed, add one ladle-full of chicken stock, then allow it to absorb into the rice, stirring intermittently. Once stock is absorbed, add another ladle-full, then stir until absorbed. This process will continue until all stock is used and risotto is creamy and cooked through. Check cast iron skillet intermittently to see if it’s hot (you want it very hot– it should be uncomfortable to hold your hand six inches above the skillet’s base. Preheat oven to 450 F.
Step 3: During the risotto process, and once the cast iron skillet is very hot, add the oil from the steak recipe to the cast iron skillet. The oil should begin to smoke almost immediately. (You’ll want your stove fan on for this) Add your steaks to the cast iron, and sear each side thoroughly to create a dark, caramelized crust. Each side should take 1-3 minutes depending on how hot your skillet is. While the sides are searing, add butter, garlic, and herbs from steak recipe. Once butter is melted, tip the pan and spoon herbed butter over the steaks. Don’t forget to continue the risotto process during this step. You should be going back and forth quickly between steaks and risotto.
Step 4: Once steaks are seared. Place them (in the skillet) into the preheated oven and allow to roast for 5-7 minutes for medium rare steaks. If steaks become smoky while in the oven, add 1/3 c. water. While steaks are in the oven, you should be finishing your risotto, then transferring it to the pan that held the chicken stock. Your risotto is done when the rice is still slightly chewy, but mostly soft, and the starchy sauce is creamy and opaque. When it’s done, add parsley and butter, then add to chicken stock pan and stir. Set aside, covered, until serving time.
Step 5: Rinse out risotto skillet and place back on a large burner, on medium heat. Remove steaks from the oven and let cool slightly (Do not turn off the oven). In the cleaned skillet, add chopped bacon or pancetta and allow to crisp, stirring frequently. While bacon is cooking, wash baby broccoli and endives. Cut any tough ends from the broccoli and remove any wilted leaves if needed. Cut in half if needed (they may be too long for the pan). Add broccoli to the skillet with the bacon and continue to cook on medium heat. Remove steaks from cast iron skillet an set aside to rest. Pour any liquid in cast iron pan into the broccoli and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Then quickly scrub out the cast iron, and give it a rinse, then return it to the stove on medium heat.
Step 6: Add oil from endive recipe to cast iron skillet. In the broccoli skillet, add some water if needed, then cover and let steam on medium heat. When the cast iron is hot and oil is shimmering, cut endives lengthwise and place them, cut-side down into the skillet. They should very audibly sizzle. Allow the endives to brown and caramelize on that side, then use tongs or two forks to turn them, allowing them to brown on the curved sides as well. Add juice from two oranges into the skillet and sprinkle the endives with a pinch of salt. Move them to the oven and allow them to braise until the orange juice is reduced to half its volume. Check the broccoli and test a stem-end for doneness. It should be soft all the way through, but not mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cover and remove from heat.
Step 7: While endives finish braising, begin plating. Wash radicchio and cut in half, widthwise (so you have one half with the root end in the middle and the other half with the “top”). On your two plates, place the radicchio halves, cut-side up, and use your fingers to push the leaves away from the center, creating an almost rose-like appearance. Remove endives from oven. Use a large spoon to create a “bed” of risotto next to the radicchio, then place the rested filet on top (whole or sliced like in the photos). Arrange baby broccoli along the sides of the steak and add one or two endives on top. Use the reduced orange juice from the cast iron skillet to dress the radicchio if desired (or you can use it purely for garnish if you’re not a fan of the bitter taste).
Serve immediately with your favorite wine and enjoy!