Last weekend Gary and I were invited to join our friends The Needhams and a group of their friends at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center for a night of wine, food and cooking lessons. Milestone is a fantastic facility both for their culinary classes, presentations and incredible Viking Showroom. Gary and I can dream….
The group was fun, energetic and obviously loved their wine…which did make some of the cooking interesting towards the end, but we managed to prepare an incredible meal featuring a beautiful stuffed filet of beef with wilted spinach and Boursin cheese wrapped in pancetta. And, to the great delight of everyone in the room, it was very simple to make. And paired perfectly with the various bottles the group brought from a bold Justification from Justin Winery, to the Haynes Old Block Ancien Pinot Noir we love so much. We tried it again and adapted what we had made a bit to add a few more fresh ingredients and flavors. Still very easy, just a little bit bigger flavors. Cheers to a fun night of cooking with friends.
Filet of Beef Stuffed with Wilted Spinach, Tarragon and Boursin Cheese
Ingredients: (for 2)
2 6-8 ounce filets of beef (your preference)
2 tablespoons olive oil – divided
8 ounces of fresh baby spinach
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 shallot – minced
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 ounces Boursin cheese
2 thin slices of pancetta or baconPreparation:
Preheat oven to 400. In a large oven-safe skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the shallot and garlic and cook over medium heat until they have softened. Add the spinach, nutmeg and herbs and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until just wilted – this will go pretty fast so keep an eye on the spinach. When just barely wilted add the cheese and stir in until well mixed through. Take off the heat and set aside to cool. Cut a slit vertically on the side of each filet to make a pocket. Make sure not to cut all the way through as you don’t want the stuffing to come out the other end, but big enough to add half of the cheese and spinach mixture. When the mixture has slightly cooled stuff half of it into each pocket of each filet. Wrap the pancetta or bacon around the pocket and the rest of each individual filet. Secure with a toothpick. Rinse and wipe out your skillet then add the other tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat and sear each filet until just browned on each side. Then place into your oven and cook until the meat reaches about 140, or medium rare (about 10-13 minutes +/- depending on your oven and the size of the filet.) We tend not to be big sauce people, but you could take the pan with the beef drippings and add a little red wine (about a cup), garlic, parsley and tarragon and boil to reduce the wine by half, scrape up all the good beefy bits in the pan, and then finish with a pat of butter for a sauce. Just fine without it though as long as you have a great glass of your favorite red wine to accompany.