Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
1 cup asparagus, cut into 2" diagonal pieces. Four 6 ounce beef tenderloin steaks Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil 2-1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 2 Tablespoons cognac 3/4 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced 2 shallots, minced 1/3 cup madeira 1 teaspoon gf dijon
In a large skillet, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus for 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to refresh.
Season steaks on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter. When foam from butter starts to subside, add steaks and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 6-8 minutes total.
Remove skillet from heat and pour in cognac (stand back in case alcohol ignites).
Return skillet to heat; turning steaks to coat. Cook until sauce is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Transfer steaks to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in skillet. Add mushrooms; sautéing over medium- high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender. Add 1 tablespoon butter and add shallots; cook over medium heat, stirring until shallots are softened, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add asparagus. Add madeira and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by 1/3, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in dijon and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Reduce heat to medium and add steaks. Turn to coat with sauce and simmer until heated through.
Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon vegetables over steaks and serve.