Like any respectable grandmother, mine is a great cook, and her filet with black truffle became a real marvel. Therefore, my grandmother's advice is the starting point for this recipe which, although apparently very simple, needs a certain amount of care to bring out the truffle in all its precious nuances of flavour.
How to prepare black truffle fillet
Time: 15-20 minutes
- beef fillet: 4 (about 200 g each)
- black truffle: 50 g
- vegetable broth: approx. 200 ml
- butter: 40 g
- salt: to taste
- pepper: to taste
- Put the broth on the cooker while you prepare the meat; set the flame low to keep it warm throughout the preparation, without the risk of making it evaporate too quickly.
- Heat a frying pan (iron if possible, perfect for fillet steak) and melt half the butter. The flame should be quite high, but "be careful not to burn the butter or you'll ruin my fillet". Can you hear my grandmother's voice reprimanding you?
- Once the butter has melted, increase the heat further and brown the fillet. A couple of minutes per side is enough, if the meat is 2.5-3 cm thick. The temperature must be high so it forms a crust that keeps all the liquids inside the meat; it's easy for some of the moisture and fat to spill into the pan anyway, but better that this happens as little as possible.
- Once the meat is cooked (do not overcook, it must be pink inside), remove it from the heat and temporarily place it on a plate. It takes a lot of experience to get the meat perfectly cooked; my grandmother used to press it with her finger to check its tenderness, but she was in a different league altogether.
- Clean the pot from meat fat. There is no need to wash it under water - it doesn't have to be a thorough cleaning - just wipe it with paper towels so that the pan is slightly greasy. Then put the pan back on the heat and lower the flame.
- At this point you have two options: either dust the pan with a little flour (or cornstarch) or don't; dusting the pan will make the sauce thicken faster, but it's all a matter of taste. Then pour 2 or 3 scoops full of broth into the pan.
- Cut the black truffle into slices and put it in the pan, then add salt and pepper in the quantities you prefer (but don't exaggerate or grandma will get angry), turn up the heat slightly and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.
- Add the remaining butter and, as soon as it has melted, place the meat back in the pan. Finish cooking the sauce for about a minute.
- Now turn off the heat and serve. Remember to take a spoonful of sauce to garnish each fillet; you will see how delicious it is.
Filet with black truffle is a simple dish, but it should be done carefully. You don't want to risk wasting the truffle which, apart from being particularly precious, is also very difficult to make the most of in terms of flavour. This is why I preferred to follow my grandmother's advice by using only vegetable stock, which is much less rich in flavour than a meat stock and definitely more versatile. But nobody stops you from trying some alternatives; a bit of experimentation - with caution - can bring great satisfaction :)
A good variation could be to add some alcohol to be blended just before pouring in the broth; cognac or brandy are very suitable for the dish and, if dosed well, can give that little something extra without covering the typical flavours and scents of the black truffle.