comscore Stuffed filet is an elegant holiday choice

Stuffed filet is an elegant holiday choice

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    Petite beef filet is butterflied and stuffed with prosciutto, pesto and roasted red peppers.

Want to serve a fancy roast for Christmas dinner without breaking the bank? Try a petite beef filet. Cut from the shoulder, long and thin, and weighing between 8 and 10 ounces, the petite filet looks like a mini tenderloin of beef — one of the priciest and most popular of roasts. But it’s much less expensive and more flavorful. And tender, too.

Here we’ve rolled it up and stuffed it with prosciutto, as well as with pesto and roasted red peppers. The latter two ingredients — one green, the other red — echo the signature colors of the holiday even as they delight the taste buds. And, bonus! You can buy them by the jar in the supermarket, which makes the prep that much easier.

This recipe doesn’t need to be made at the last minute. You can cut, roll and tie the roast ahead of time and chill it for several hours. Then, when you’re 25 minutes or so from sitting down to dinner, brown it, pop it in the oven and let it rest for the requisite 10 minutes. Whip up the sauce while the roast is resting. You will look like a culinary genius as you plate up a singularly elegant and festive holiday meal.

Prosciutto-Stuffed Petite Filet

  • 2 large petite beef filets (about 1-1/4 pounds total)
  • 1/4 pound thin-sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup thin red pepper strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Butterfly filets: Place first filet on a cutting board with a short end facing you. Start cutting the roast along the left long side about 2/3 of the way down from the top, cutting almost through, but stopping about 1/2 inch from the other side. Flip roast over so cut side is on the right. Repeat procedure on the left side, slicing about 2/3 of the way down from the top, to within 1/2-inch of the other side. Open up the two flaps that you have just cut so the filet is the shape of a rectangle. Pound meat between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, sprinkled with water, until filet is about 1/4-inch thick all over.

Arrange half the prosciutto over the inside of each roast, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Spread half the pesto on top of the prosciutto and arrange red pepper strips down the middle. Starting with the long end, roll up the beef to form a cylinder and tie it with twine at 1-inch lengths. Sprinkle meat all over with salt and pepper.

In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high, add meat and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to middle shelf of oven and roast filets 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer roasts to a plate; cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, add wine to skillet and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up brown bits from bottom. Add chicken broth and any juices from resting meat and simmer 3 minutes.

To serve: Remove strings, slice meat and arrange it on 4 plates. Spoon some of the pan juices over each portion. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 402 calories, 22 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 122 mg cholesterol, 976 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrates, no fiber, 1 g sugar, 42 g protein

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