Most cardiologists agree that beef is something that should be eaten in moderation. Granted, you can increase the health factor by choosing leaner options like filet mignon, lean ground beef and beef tenderloin. But what about the steak sauce? Steak’s often prepared in a way that adds a lot of sodium, and sodium on top of beef’s inherent saturated fat equals a heart attack on a plate.
The Benefits of Beef
Beef does have some health benefits. It’s rich in protein and iron, and organic lean beef is a good source of vitamin B-12, which has anti-cancer benefits and may prevent osteoporosis.
So, aside from the standard “everything in moderation” mantra, how do we get the benefits of beef without clogging the pump? Have a look at the recipe below.
This filet mignon recipe gets two very important things right:
- It calls for a cut of beef that’s naturally lower in fat.
- It stays away from cream sauces and cheese, instead opting for naturally low-fat and low-calorie herbs and wine for flavor.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement. This recipe also calls for soy sauce and beef stock, and even though these are low-sodium versions, there are ways to cut them out and still have a tasty and healthy steak sauce.
Making Substitutions for a Healthy Steak Sauce
First, replace the rest of the beef stock with an additional 3/4 cup of wine and 3/4 cup of water. Then, replace the soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce, which has sodium, but only around 3% of your daily value per serving (as opposed to the 25% or so in low sodium soy sauce).
Worcestershire sauce has a slightly different flavor profile, but there’s enough of a kick that most people don’t miss the soy sauce. Not only is Worcestershire sauce much lower in sodium than soy sauce, but most brands in the U.S. are gluten-free. And although traditional Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies, there are brands, like Annie’s Naturals, that make vegan versions.
Filet Mignon with Mushroom Wine Sauce and Asparagus
- Olive oil
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (4 oz) filet mignon steaks
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
- 1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1. In a small saucepan, set roughly 1 inch of water to boil. When the water boils, add the asparagus, cover and remove from heat. Set aside to steam.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes. Add 1 cup wine and 3/4 cup beef stock and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Remove mushrooms to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to high and cook wine mixture until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes).
4. Season steaks with pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add steaks. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side, until desired doneness is reached. Set aside and keep warm.
5. Combine soy sauce, 1/2 cup wine and remaining consommé to skillet; scrape skillet to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Add mushroom mixture and dried thyme; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over steaks and asparagus. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.