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The Secret Ingredient (Dijon Mustard): Filet Mignon with Mustard Butter

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I think, since Dijon mustard is a French invention, that it's only appropriate to use it in a French preparation. Steak with butter. Genius. Tender, but firm, meat, dripping in rivulets of melting cream-sweet, soft butter, that contrasts but complements the meat in flavor and texture.

French steaks are often seared in butter, and one way to serve them is with Beurre Maître d'Hôtel: coins of cold butter, flavored with garlic, parsley, and lemon, left to melt on top of hot seared steaks. I tried flavoring the butter with mustard, instead of herbs and garlic, and the result is a steak that is flavored not only with the sweet cream of butter, but also with the tangy bite of white wine, and the acidic, spicy whip of both Dijon and whole grain mustards. Maybe even better than the prototype. I like to serve two little round medallions of tenderloin per person, with simple steamed new potatoes to soak up the butter and the juices that escape from the meat. Carnally satisfying.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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