Food & Drink | May 24, 2022 7:00 am

Here’s Your Secret, No-Fuss Hack for Next-Level Beef Tenderloin

Hint: It’s exactly 18 months old

Filet Mignon with Comté Crust
Filet Mignon with Comté Crust

Beef tenderloin is a steakhouse fave — buttery and tender and luscious. There’s just one problem: The cut is famously low in fat. The team at Dallas’ Monarch is here to remedy that, with two-Michelin-starred chef Danny Grant and executive chef Eric Dreyer pairing up to take your tenderloin game up to 11. They pair the lean, tender beef with a crust made with French Comté cheese and a heaping helping of butter.

“The tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat,” explains Dreyer, a native son of Dallas who has returned home after years of working in California, not to mention at Oprah Winfrey’s Promised Land on Maui. “Adding the Comté gives a great buttery element to this steak.”

He opts for 18-month-old Comté, which blends the apricot aromas of younger iterations of this Alpine cheese with the nutty flavor it takes on as it ages. Paired with brioche breadcrumbs and both softened and browned butter, the cheese is blended into a delicious crust for the perfect nutty garnish to top the tenderloin. Best of all? You can make this crust in advance and freeze it in discs, so all you need to do the day of is pull one out and broil it atop the perfectly pan-cooked steak.

Speaking of which, Dreyer has mastered the method to ensure the tenderloin is cooked to a T. Seared in a ripping hot pan, the steak is then basted in garlic- and thyme-infused butter. It’s a technique that takes barely 10 minutes to carry off but rewards you with that sought-after, medium-rare interior.

At Monarch, Dreyer serves this dish with a potato croquette, but it goes just as nicely with French fries, roasted potatoes or a hunk of French bread to soak up all those lovely juices.

Filet Mignon with Comté Crust

For the Comté crust:

  • 225 grams (about ½ loaf) brioche 
  • 110 grams (1⅓ cup) panko breadcrumbs 
  • 150 grams (10½ tablespoons) softened butter 
  • 50 grams (1¾ ounces) browned butter
  • 100 grams (3½ ounces) grated Comté cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 7 ounces filet mignon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Canola oil

Cut the crust off the brioche and discard. Cube the brioche and dry it out at room temperature overnight or in a low oven. Once dry, place the cubed brioche and panko in a robot-coupe and pulse until very fine. Reserve. 

Place the butter in a robot-coupe and spin until smooth. Once smooth, stream in the brown butter followed by the breadcrumb mixture, Comté, salt and lemon juice. Blend until well incorporated. Spread out the Comté crust on a silicone baking sheet and freeze.

Once frozen, use a cookie cutter the same size as the filet mignon to cut out butter rounds. Transfer to a container, placing a sheet of parchment paper between each round. Store in the freezer until ready to use.

Preheat the broiler. Season the filet mignon with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a pan over high heat, then sear the steak on the first side. Flip and sear on the second side, then add the cold butter, thyme and garlic. Baste the steak with the butter, cooking until medium rare (130-135º F internal temperature). Remove the steaks from the pan, place the thyme on top and rest for three minutes.

Once the steak has rested, place a Comté crust disc on top. Place under the broiler and toast until the Comté crust is browned.