Koji-Rubbed Filet Mignon

Filet mignon is known for its tenderness and delicate taste, but coating it in koji brings out even more of the meat's flavor.
Koji-rubbed filet mignon / Photo by Con Poulous / Food Styling by Barrett Washburne

Courtesy Ryan Ratino, founder and executive chef, Bresca, Washington, D.C.

Filet mignon is the round cut taken from the loin end that’s known for its tenderness and delicate flavor. At Bresca in Washington, D.C., Executive Chef Ryan Ratino uses funky pickled and fermented ingredients to contrast the other, impeccably fresh components in his cooking. In this dish, he uses koji, the fermented culture used to make saké, miso and soy sauce, to amp up the beef’s flavor. Koji is available in Asian markets and online. The rest of the method here, and the pairing, are pretty classic. It’s a fun twist on an old standby.

The Best Ways to Pair Steak with Cabernet
Ingredients
  • 2 8-ounce filets mignon
  • 2 tablespoons ground koji
  • Kosher salt
Directions

Rub filets with koji. Refrigerate for 48 hours.

Remove filets from refrigerator. Season heavily on both sides with kosher salt, and let sit for 30 minutes. Warm cast iron pan over medium heat. Sear steak for 6 minutes. Flip steak and cook 6 minutes, or until probe thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125˚F for medium rare. Serves 2.

Pair It

Château de France 2014 Pessac-Léognan. Apologies to the purists: Ratino likes a blend. From the Graves region of Bordeaux, this Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot has intense, concentrated plum flavors that will match well with the filet. Underneath the dense fruit is a hint of toasty almond, a perfect answer to the koji’s funk.

Published on July 31, 2018
About the Author
Layla Schlack
Senior Editor

Schlack has written and edited stories about cooking, dining, spirits, entertaining and travel, as well as developed recipes, in various editorial roles at Fine Cooking and Hemispheres. Her writing has won a NATJA award. When she’s not editing Wine Enthusiast’s food, spirits and entertaining stories, she can usually be found clanging around her Connecticut kitchen, beverage in hand, trying to re-create some tasty meal she’s had over the course of her travels. Email: lschlack@wineenthusiast.net



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