Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Filet Mignon Giambotta

Nanny didn't get to really experience my cooking, it's sad since she inspired me a lot. Unfortunately as she got older her taste buds changed immensely. Foods that she used to love she wouldn't even look at anymore. She would still eat pasta though, it was the one thing she never gave up on. I can remember experimenting with different veggies and she would lean over the stove and look into the pan and ask what I was making. I didn't really know but she would say "Oh, it's giambotta" and she would nod in approval. I didn't realize what that meant at the time. Now that I've learned so much more about food, I understand that Giambotta is just a combination of different veggies or meats and veggies just kind of thrown together. I guess it's what I would call a one pot pantry meal. Meals like this really taste amazing and remind me most of my grandmother. I guess that's why when years ago I saw Lidia Bastianich make a recipe like the one I'm going to share with you today, I never stopped thinking about it. When I went through all my Lidia cookbooks I found the recipe and guess what she called it....Seared Filet Mignon with Braised Chunky Vegetables...Filetto di Bue con GIAMBOTTA de Verdure. So I guess my grandmother would approve!

This recipe is loosely based off of what I remembered Lidia make that day. I didn't follow all her ingredients or measurements but I was absolutely inspired by her and by of course, Nanny.  My recipe is a little rough because I was just winging it and I'm a little nervous about posting Lidia's recipe since it's not available online at all.  If you want Lidia's recipe just email me through the link at the top of the page and I will send it to you. 

Filet Mignon Giambotta

Inspired by Lidia Bastianich (recipe is not available online but can be found in her cookbook Lidia's Italian American Kitchen)


About 1 pound of filet mignon steaks, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (or cut into chunks)
Approx 1/2 pound (a little over) of baby potatoes (I used a mixed bag from trader joes)
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
6 cloves garlic, smashed with side of a knife
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 handful of sliced frozen peppers or 1 red bell pepper cut into large pieces
1/2 pound string beans
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar
worcestershire sauce
Teriyaki sauce
extra virgin olive oil and canola oil


1.  Trim string beans and slice potatoes in half (or the larger once in thirds) so they are all approximately the same size.  Par boil potatoes and string beans together until potatoes are just tender.  Do not over cook them because they will continue to cook them in the pan (but you don't want the outside to cook faster than the inside so do not skip this step). Drain well.  Seperate string beans from potatoes.

2.  Add sliced beef to a bowl and add a little balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce and chopped garlic.  Just enough to marinate the meat but not enough to cover.  Toss to coat all of the beef and let it rest in the marinade on the counter.  (You should never put cold meat in a hot pan or it will be tough.)

3.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and canola oil (the EVOO gives flavor but will smoke faster than canola oil so mixing the oil prevents that from happening) just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.  Add potatoes and 3 cloves of cracked garlic to the pan.  Make sure the potatoes are cut side down so they get nice and brown. Season with salt and pepper. Once the potatoes have a nice brown color turn the potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes add half of the onion.  Stir the potatoes and onion (or just shake the pan) to make sure each side of the potatoes get a chance to touch the bottom of the pan. Season the other side with salt and pepper.  Once onions are beginning to soften and potatoes are fully cooked, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3.  In the same pan add the rest of the onion, 2 cloves of the cracked garlic, string beans and peppers.  If the pan is dry add a little more oil.  Toss everything together until onions start to soften but not mushy. Everything  should soften but still have a crunch to it (think chinese vegetables). Season with salt and pepper. Add olives.  When veggies are cooked add them to the bowl with the potatoes. 

4.  Remove the meat from the marinade and add them to the same pan you've been using.  Sear for just a couple of minutes per side (depending on how thick or think your pieces are) until browned on the outside and still pink in the middle.  Once meat is cooked add all the veggies back to the pan with the meat and toss together.  Add a splash of  balsamic vinegar, toss again to coat with vinegar.  (You shouldn't need to add any salt to the meat because the marinade has plenty of salt.)

Printable Recipe for Filet Mignon Giambotta


Danielle said...

this looks sooooo good Michele!! I wish I had all those veggies in my pantry. Tonights dinner is a bit more plain than yours LOL

heartnsoulcooking said...

WOW!!! AWESOME!!! recipe with lots of GREAT!!! veggies.

Cathy said...

Your picture is fine---it's making me hungry, in fact! I had a bowl of Total for dinner, so it's kind of hard for me to read your post without drooling. Seriously, I think this is one to try!

Pam said...

Yum, yum, yum! This looks like such a delicious and hearty dish.

Dionne said...

Wow, it's interesting to hear how dramatically her tastebuds changed! I hope that doesn't happen to me!

This looks amazing! Yummmmm!!!

teresa said...

you had me at filet mignon! i love this dish!

Bob said...

I love dishes that are more concept than science. It means you don't screw it up, you just alter it. Heh. Looks great!

Lisa said...

Giambotta is one of the first things I cooked when my friends and I got our first off-campus house in college. I followed a cookbook recipe from Elodia Rigante at the time and unfortunately it didn't turn out so good - my fault I'm sure since I was pretty unexperienced at cooking back then. I have yet to try it again but your post inspires me! Looks yummy!

AppleC said...

Looks fantastic! Love the music.

Michele said...

Dani - I'm sure yours was fabulous!

Thanks everyone!

Patti T. said...

Looks so appetizing with all the great colors. A one pot meal with so many delicious components, what more could you ask for.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Looks and sounds delicious. And how can one go wrong with filet mignon?
I love the combination of the veggies...crusty potatoes, green beans, etc. Perfect for a winter meal, when one isn't cooking tenderloin on the grill!

Cheryl said...

Two of my favorite things together! YUM!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love chicken Giambotta as well.
This looks excellent, you can't go wrong with Lidia!
happy new year Michele!

Bridgett said...

This looks so scrumptious! I loved learning things from my grandmother but I wish she cared about eating and even cooking now. At least we have good memories, right? What a cool post.

Rosabela said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! I felt the love and respect you had (and still have) for your Nanny. :-)

Your giambotta sounds absolutely devine!

Culinary Alchemist said...

OMG that looks good..!!!! It's 1:00am and now I am hungry... LOL

john said...

This looks so good! I am probably getting some veggies in the supermarket! I can't wait to try it!
dining room table

Joanne said...

This looks so delicious, and very hearty! Perfect for this cold, wintry time of year. Enjoyed browsing here, best wishes!

Cristie said...

What a sweet story of your grandmother! The dish looks wonderful, I will have to give this a try. Delish!

megan said...

what a wonderful story, and your meal looks delicious. i love to just cook different meats and vegetables together - it tastes different every time!

Velva said...

This looks really good. Your grandmother would be very proud of your giambotta dish.

Potluck said...

This looks soooo good. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.