12.28.2013

A Quiet Christmas Dinner

It was so nice to have Christmas day just to ourselves.

Being grateful for one another.

Reflecting on the past year.

Ambling the paths of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Mark's photo of one path at the Desert Museum.
Reading and writing.

Nibbling while cooking.

Toasting, sipping.

Catching up with family.

Watching our favorite Christmas movie.

Mark and I wish you and yours a peaceful, happy, healthy, tasty, and wonder-filled 2014!

~ David

Filet Mignon with Bordelaise Sauce
Minimally adapted from Saveur

1 cup red wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried bay leaf
8 tablespoons prepared demi-glace*
4 (6-ounce) filet mignons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chilled, unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme


In a small saucepan, combine wine, thyme, shallots, and bay leaf. Reduce wine over medium-high heat until 1 tablespoon liquid remains. It will be rather syrupy. Remove from heat, stir in the prepared demi-glace, then strain into a clean small sauce pan. Set aside; it will thicken as it cools.


Heat oven to 500°. Season filets with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear steaks, flipping once, until browned, 5-6 minutes total time. Transfer skillet to preheated oven; roast until steaks are medium rare, 5-6 minutes. Remove steaks from the pan onto a plate, and let rest.


Return sauce to medium heat. Whisk in butter. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Transfer steaks to cutting board; add juices from plate to sauce and stir. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce onto each of four plates. Slice steak into ¼-inch thick slices; divide among the four plates. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and thyme; drizzle each steak with an additional tablespoon sauce.


* demi-glace is readily available in concentrated form in supermarkets. The brand I have seen most is Demi-Glace Gold by More Than Gourmet. For this recipe, I used a concentrate from Minor’s.

32 comments:

  1. Ours was almost as quiet. And that's just the way I like it. Have a fab New Year, be it lively or not. Judging by my energy levels of late, I'll be in bed at 10.30pm on 31 December!

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    1. I am sad to report that I am totally impressed with how late you will stay up on the 31st! We tend to celebrate on Paris time (4:00pm here) just in case we can't make it till the fireworks at 10:00pm when it is midnight in New York! Happy New Year to you both, as well! Cheers!

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  2. I'm a bit late to wish you both Merry Christmas David (your meal looks divine) but a huge happy New Year for next week to you and Mark!! I definitely agree that quiet Christmases are wonderful... plenty of time to reflect and be thankful :) We celebrated with my mother on Christmas day and traveled over to Aaron's family on Boxing day this year. Very busy and noisy (the nieces were shooting us with Nerf bullets!) but I'm grateful for family all the same. I hope that 2014 will be even more blessed and memorable than 2013 was for you both. Hugs, thanks for traveling through this blogging year with me David! xo

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    1. There is a lot to be said for the chaotic fun of a big family gathering. It has been a fun year blogging together - and I am so glad you found me so that I could find you! The happiest of New Year wishes to you and Aaron.

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  3. First of all, the Filet Mignon looks like it's cooked to perfection! If I could reach into my screen for a bit (or 2 or 3), I would. And that sauce - oh my! Sounds like you both had a lovely day -- I hope the new year brings you more time for reflection, nibbling cooking, toasting, and family! XO Valentina

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    1. That is the plan, Valentina! Lots more of all the above! My best to you all for 2014 - hope it is scrumptious! xo

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  4. Lovely dish David. I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

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  5. wow, what a coinsidence, i made filet mignon to for christmas dinner....
    But i'm using wagyu loin and wrapped in bacon.....
    your bordelaise sauce looks devine, i guess it's gonna be my next project then....
    Wish you a Happy New Year then my friend !!!

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    1. Thanks, Dedy - I did see your post this morning when I got up and thought, "I have to read that!" Two chefs in two different countries but of one mind as to what's for dinner! Happy New Year to you, as well!

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  6. We have two sons and a daughter-in-law who are vegetarians. No filet mignon for Christmas dinner! We made a wonderful pumpkin lasagne, but I have to admit I drooled when I saw your steak.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Every Thanksgiving we have vegetarians with us and I always make something fun, like a butternut squash and hazelnut lasagne. And to tell you the truth? I much prefer it over the turkey. Now, between the steak and the lasagne? A tougher choice! :) Happy New Year, Kirsten!

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  7. Merry Christmas David and Mark! I look forward to more wonderful blogs in the new year.

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    1. Thanks, Pam! It has been great to have you reading all year long. A hint: we soon will head to NOLA for a couple of posts!

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  8. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, nom nom nom!!!;-)
    (think I just found my New Year's Eve dinner) Happiest of New Years to you and Mark! XOXO
    K

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    1. This is the [perfect little dinner for a special occasion, Karin! Hope you enjoy it on the 31st! Happy 2014!

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  9. What a perfect meal, perfect sentiments, and perfect walk through nature to underscore the meaning of Christmas.

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    1. When we visited Tucson before moving here, we spent Christmas at the Desert Museum. It was a great place to go for this special day... lots of families together interacting, and much better than sitting in a movie theater! Susan, thanks for all your wonderful comments throughout the year!

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  10. Wishing you and Mark all the best for the coming year David! I am half I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago because I love our friendship! Here's to happy coincidences and many more years of friendship. Love the filet and all the photos. I hope you get a chance to visit us in Denver very soon. Happy New Year. Nazneen xx

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    1. Thanks, Nazneen - I feel the same way! I wish you and your family a wonder-filled New Year. xox

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  11. Thank you for a wonderful year of delectable delights. I look forward to whatever 2014 has to offer in your culinary world. Thank you for sharing. Tamales and menudo made and consumed, Christmas is done. Love this Sonoran desert. Made sun tea this morning - where else can one make sun tea in December?! Wishing you and Mark a very Happy New Year!

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    1. I love that you made sun tea yesterday, JC - that is perfect for Tucson. One could make it almost any day here! I am glad you enjoyed the year - and thanks for always reading! Happy 2014!

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  12. Yum - Filet Mignon is one of my favourite meals, just perfect for Christmas. Happy New Year to you and Mark - I am looking forward to seeing what you both get up to next year. It will be a quiet New Years for us, we rarely see New Years in anymore - I just like my sleep too much :)

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    1. Karen - filet mignon is one of my faves, too. Bought another yesterday at the market for the New Year. Enjoy your quiet day... as we all get wiser (I still know a lot of old fools!), I think we smart ones hit the sack early! Happy 2014!

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  13. What a fabulous holiday meal! I envy your quiet day, together. New Year's Eve is always just for us. This year, we're planning a truly Southern meal.

    Wishing you both love and peace in 2014! XOXO

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    1. Well, Susan, after reading all the above posts, I think a lot of us are in the same boat. Quiet New Year celebrations are the thing for food bloggers. It will be just the two of us, as well, by design. Enjoy your quiet day together - look forward to hearing about your Southern meal!

      Happy New Year to you and John, and back atchya with the wishes for love and peace in 2014! xox

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  14. Your Christmas meal looks delicious. I'm cooking filet mignon for New Year's eve...I think I'll add your sauce to the dish. I've had a wonderful time following along with your travels and delicious food, David. Wishing you and Mark a great New Year.

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    1. Thanks Karen - I hope you enjoy it! One of the great pleasures of blogging is getting to follow one another, whether around the world or simply the grocery store!

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  15. Bordelaise Sauce sounds totally divine!
    Stumbled by and thought I would say Hi - nice space you have here - Happy New Year!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

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    1. Thanks, Shashi! Glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post! I look forward to perusing your blog this weekend!

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  16. You spent the christmas day I've always wanted to have, yet never did! Just another day doing exactly what you feel like with the one you love. Doesn't get much better than that David!
    And a gorgeous dinner with meat and wine, my type of meal too. I still need to try bordelaise sauce, such a classic! Happy very belated New Year to both of you!

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    1. Paula - it was the FIRST time we have ever been able to do this - such a gift to ourselves... I knew you would like the beef :) - and coming soon will be an antiquated recipe: Steak Diane. I think we should bring that back. I know I haven't had it since October 1977 - and Wikipedia says it went out of fashion in 1980. So sad. We made it for New Year's and it was AMAZING. Happy New Year to you, Paula - in your almost completely New Life!

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