Filet mignon with speck and fava beans

This is a very quick recipe, perfectly adapted for summer.

Fava beans have a very distinctive flavour, a soft consistency, and they are versatile. They can be incorporated in soups or stews, or simply mashed with garlic, olive oil and mint to make a great purée.

Since my quest for finding fresh fava beans lasted several weeks, I bought quite a big bunch and started experimenting with them. I certainly could not limit myself to using them in only one soup (and only one post).

In Ottawa, you can find good quality frozen broad beans at La Bottega and at Mid-East Market.

Speck, or smoked prosciutto, can now be found easily in most supermarkets.

Here is a recipe inspired by the Silver Spoon.

Fava beans


4 beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/2 inch thick
unbleached white flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 cup shelled fava beans, cooked*
1 or 2 ounces Speck, cut into strips
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a heavy bottom skillet, preferably cast iron, heat the oil over medium-high heat until smoking.

2. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.

3. Cook the steaks in the hot oil to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let them rest while you prepare the accompaniment.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. In the same skillet, add the speck and cook until it starts to crisp up, about one minute.

5. Add the fava beans, the wine and lemon juice and cook for five minutes, scraping the bottom of the skillet, until the alcohol has evaporated. Off the heat, add the butter and let it melt.

6. Serve the steaks on a warm plate with the fava beans and speck.

Filet mignon with fava beans

*To prepare fresh fava beans, shell them and put in salted boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender. Rinse under cold water or put in an ice bath. Remove the tough membrane by pinching off a small part of the membrane between two fingers, and pinch the fava bean out of the membrane with the other hand.

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