Episode 301: Much at Steak

Bacon-Wrapped Albacore “Filet Mignons” with Peppercorn Cream Sauce



Bacon-Wrapped Albacore “Filet Mignons” with Peppercorn Cream Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 8 and can be scaled up
  • Equipment: Butcher’s string; plancha or griddle (optional)


For the Peppercorn Cream Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped, plus extra sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon

For the tuna:

  • 2 trimmed sushi-quality albacore tuna loins, each about 1-1/2 pounds
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 strips thin-cut artisanal bacon

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Make the Peppercorn Cream Sauce: In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the shallots and sauté until soft. Add the black pepper and Cognac. If desired, carefully flambé the warm Cognac with a long match. Otherwise, continue with the sauce. Add the white wine and bring to a boil; reduce by half. Stir in the cream and mustard and let the sauce simmer until it coats the back of a spoon. Add salt to taste. Stir in the chopped fresh tarragon and squeeze in a few drops of fresh lime juice. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Step 2: Working on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, season the tuna loins well on all sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Step 3: For each loin, cut 4 lengths of butcher’s string, each about 12 inches long, and lay them parallel to each other (about 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart) on a clean work surface. Place a strip of bacon in the center, perpendicular to the strings. Lay a tuna loin on the bacon. Lay 2 more strips of bacon on top of the tuna (3 if it’s a large loin), bring the strings snugly over the loin, and tie so that the bacon is held firmly in place. Repeat with the other loin.

Step 4: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high (400 degrees). If using a plancha or griddle, preheat it at the same time. Brush and oil the grill grate and/or plancha.

Step 5: Arrange the tuna loins on the plancha or grill grate and grill until the bacon and tuna are seared, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn with tongs to sear the remaining sides. The interior of the tuna should retain its rosy color; do not overcook. Transfer the tuna loins to a cutting board. Reheat the Peppercorn Cream Sauce, if necessary. Remove the strings from the tuna, then slice the loins into 1-inch-thick medallions and arrange on a platter. Spoon the sauce around the bottom of the medallions, garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs, and serve.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2017 Barbacoa, Inc.

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