Yes, I know Tandoori Filet Mignon sounds like a weird dish. For most people the word tandoori conjures up images of hot spicy foods but in this case I just used a tandoor/Homdoor to grill a classic steak. None of the Indian spices or flavors went into making it – it is called Tandoori merely because I used the Tandoor/Homdoor to grill the steak. The advantage of a ceramic tandoor over a regular charcoal grill is that this tandoor has really good air flow and that is why the charcoal takes a lot less time to light up. Also the surrounding ceramic cylinder retains the heat very efficiently and thereby provides heat from all the sides. The result is that the grilled meats cooks more evenly and don’t dry out. The Homdoor was originally meant to be used in conjunction with skewers but since I was a bit nervous that skewering the steak pieces could make the juices run out, my husband jigged it up with a grate in the middle of the ceramic cylinder by it propping up a steel grate on a few bricks (there are some advantages to having an engineer for a husband). So I could just use the Homdoor like a regular grill. I topped the steak off with a Mushroom Bourbon sauce and the result was a steak dish that was as good as any served in the finest of steak-houses!
For the Filet Mignon –
1. 2 lbs of filet mignon
2. One tablespoon of Mesquite seasoning (this has salt in it so no need to add extra salt)
3. 2 tablespoons of dark Balsamic Vinegar
4. 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil
5. 3 cloves of garlic
For the Mushroom Bourbon Sauce
1. One medium sized onion
2. ½ lb of Cremini mushrooms
3. 3 tablespoons of Bourbon
4. 2-3 springs of fresh rosemary
5. 3-4 tablespoons of Labneh (I prefer Labneh to cream but you can use heavy cream as well)
6. 1 teaspoon of multi-colored peppercorns
7. Salt to taste
8. 1 teaspoon of sugar
9. ½ tablespoon of butter
1. Light up the charcoal in the grill or tandoor and while the charcoal is getting ready, prepare the marinade.
2. Peel and slice the garlic cloves.
3. Rub the Mesquite seasoning over all the pieces of steak as evenly as you can.
4. Combine the olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and garlic slices in a bowl and slowly pour this marinade over the pieces of steak. The marinade should be evenly distributed over all the sides of the steak pieces. Keep this aside and in the meantime, you can prepare the sauce.
5. Peel and thinly slice the onion and set it aside.
6. Clean the mushrooms with a wet paper towel (do not wash the mushrooms as they absorb the water and get soggy) and slice each mushroom in half and set them aside for use later.
7. Wash the rosemary springs, remove the hard stems and using a sharp knife, give the leaves a fine chop and set this aside.
8. Using a pestle, gently crush and crack the peppercorns and set them aside for use later. You will need to follow the steps 4 through 9 ahead of time so that when you are ready to make the Mushroom Bourbon sauce all the ingredients are ready for use since all the ingredients have to be added in quick succession.
9. Using a small whisk, whisk the Labneh into a smooth consistency (if you are using cream, you don’t need to whisk it) and set it aside as well. Now that you have all the ingredients in their prepped form, you are ready to make the sauce.
10. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and put the butter in it. Gently brown the butter but make sure you don’t let it burn or start smoking. Brown butter has a nutty aroma (similar to caramel sauce) and it adds in really good flavor to the sauce.
11. Just as the color of the butter starts to darken (brown), add the onion slice and over medium heat, let the onions caramelize.
14. Add the whisked Labneh to the sauce pan and stir thoroughly.
15. When the Labneh is mixed with the onions and mushrooms (takes 10-20 seconds of stirring), add the Bourbon to the sauce pan and keep stirring.
16. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce and then taste for a balance of sweet, tart and salty. Adjust the taste to you preference. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water and if it looks too liquid, let it cook on low heat for 30 seconds or so. The sauce is now ready and you can start to grill the steaks.
17. When the charcoal is hot and ready for grilling, place the pieces of filet mignon on the grate of the grill/tandoor and cover the grill.
18. After 5-6 minutes flip the pieces of steak to get the grill marks on each side and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
19. I like my steak rare (especially good quality steak like filet mignon) so I don’t cook it for too long but if you prefer it medium or well done, continue cooking to the level of done-ness that you prefer.
20. Take the steak pieces off the grill/tandoor and let them rest for 4-5 minutes so that the juices don’t run out of the steak when you cut it. Resting the steak is essential – otherwise your steak will lose moisture and get dry and rubbery when you eat it.
21. After resting the steak, slice the steak (against the grain of the meat) with a sharp knife.
22. Serve the steak with a generous helping of the Mushroom Bourbon sauce poured over it and a side of green salad or potatoes. I guarantee – this will be an absolutely delicious meal!