Filet mignon wontons in miso and mushroom broth

My buddy Frank and I have been going back and forth over a filet mignon starter course served by two local restaurants: his favorite is a ravioli in brown butter sauce, mine is a wonton served in a ginger miso broth.

We knew we could out-do both of ’em and spur of the moment we came up with these amazing umami-bombs. We both liked it better than our faves and the crowd we served it to went wild; but there were places for improvement for version 2.0.

Before we get started, let me talk about what I didn’t like about our dish: the sauce looked muddy, we should have defatted it and strained it through a chinois. I also wanted a few chives or tiny bits of scallion floating, but I didn’t have any on hand. Finally, there are probably too many ingredients. We just kept adding stuff to the broth until it tasted right. We can likely simplify this down a bit.

OK, enough of the disclaimers, what is in it? The filling has its roots in the braised short rib recipe, except we used filet mignon and skirt steak. Each package had a small spoonful of shredded meat, and some of the braising veggies.

The broth started with the remaining braising liquid with a mess of crap added: miso paste, beef broth, rice wine vinegar, mirin, grated ginger, sriracha, reconstituted porcini mushrooms (with strained liquid), some edamame and red pepper garnish. Whew, that was a bunch of stuff.

So, why did we decide on wontons instead of ravioli? That’s easy, I was being lazy. I naively thought that pre-made wonton skins would be less work that making the pasta dough, rolling it out and stuffing it. The pasta method would have been easier because I can make a whole sheet of ravs in one go (rustic style) while wontons were painstaking to make look all purty. Frank would have no part of making sloppy looking wontons. In the end though, the flavor profile was much more Asian than Italian, so the wontons were probably a better call anyway.

Wontons:

Serves 4 as a main dish (about 10 wontons each), 8 as a starter course
  • 1 filet mignon medallion (optional, bump up the skirts if not using)
  • 1 lb skirt steak
  • 1 pack of pre-made wonton skins
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 shallot or small onion
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 or 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2-3 tbl pancetta
  • some flour

In a large dutch oven, render the fat from the pancetta and remove the bits until later. Cut the meat into manageable hunks, dredge in flour and sear until all sides are brown. Remove the meat, add a little oil and saute the veggies until translucent, and add everything back to the pot. Simmer on low for several hours until the meat is able to be shredded with a fork.

To make the wontons, shred up the meat and place a small dollop in the center of a wonton skin. Wet the edges with your finger and squeeze the edges together until it sticks. You don’t have to make ’em all fancypants like Frank did in the pics, but hey this is TJCC we’re talking about…

To cook, I just place some lettuce leaves on the bottom of a steamer basket and layer in the wontons. You need to do it a batch at a time or use one of those stacking steamer baskets. We have a cheapy bamboo steamer stack which failed on us during this meal, so you may want something more durable. I generally cook them until the skins get a little translucent and then a few minutes more.

Broth:

  • Reserved liquid from the braise
  • 1 tbl rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp mirin (sweetened sake, you can substitute a little sugar in rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 heaping tsp miso paste
  • handful of dried porcini mushrooms, rehydraded with liquid (strained) and diced finely
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix in everything in a small saucepan and simmer for a bit. You don’t want to reduce it much, it’s not supposed to be a gravy. Probably this is where you should defat and strain (if you look at the last pic on this post you can see that the edge of the liquid in the bowl looks pretty messy).

Also be careful with these measurements, we kinda winged this part, so consider this a guide and keep tasting and adjusting until you are happy. Me, I’m always happy, just don’t burn my food (a story for another day kids).

The final dish:

  • 1 or more cups (handful) of edamame (soybeans), shelled
  • red pepper, small dice

Warm up the edamame in the microwave for 30 seconds. Plate 3 or 4 wontons, a scoop of broth, some edamame in a bowl and a sprinkle a little of the red pepper for garnish.

Slurp away my friends, slurp away.