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2014 Camilla Barolo + Filet Mignon in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce #ItalianFWT

Happy New Year! I am hosting this month's Italian Food Wine Travel (#ItalianFWT) bloggers as we explore Italian Wines for Cold Winter Nights. You can read my invitation here. I really wanted to make this an easy month with sourcing by not restricting the group to either region or varietal. And they really have some fun explorations in store for us. Here's the line-up...

Cozying Up with the #ItalianFWT Bloggers

Join the Conversation
And, if you're reading this early enough, the bloggers will be on Twitter live on Saturday, January 5th at 8am Pacific time. Feel free to chime in there or just follow along with the hashtag #ItalianFWT. We'd love to have you join us.

Cold Winter Days
So, I know that the topic was 'cold winter nights', but we just returned from a 10-day trip to Denmark. And it was chilly night and day! It certainly didn't help that we only had about 7 hours of daylight either. The sun rose around 8:30am and set around 3:30pm. Still we had a fabulous vacation and enjoyed spending time with long-lost friends.

Thankfully, Italian wine is also plentiful and inexpensive there. When I was in the store with Rikke, my best friend from when I lived and worked in Rome, I commented to her that that $12 bottle in her grocery store would cost me about $40 in mine! Needless to say: I drank a lot of Italian wine during our vacation...and lamented that I couldn't bring enough home.

In My Glass
For this event, I am featuring at 2014 Barolo. Yes, I did buy it for the label, initially. But it is a great wine, too!

Camilla is the name of a vineyard in Grinzane Cavour that is farmed by Bruna Grimaldi and her family. These particular vines are 40 years old, but the estate was started over 50 years ago when Bruna's grandfather planted the area. Now Bruna and her husband, Franco Fiorino, who are both trained oenologists have increased the family holdings and truly believe that good wine begins in the vineyard. If this wine is any indication, I will be looking for others soon!

This particular expression of the Nebbiolo varietal is wildly complex with floral notes and hints of pepper. And in addition to its impressive depth, it also boasts elegant restraint. It's silky with a nice structure.

On My Plate
Most of the time, since Nebbiolo isn't dwarfed by acid, I often pair with long-braised meats in a tomato sauce.

Or, as Rikke and I did just last week, I pour a Barolo with pasta and meatballs. But I opted to make a creamy sauce instead.

The sweetness of the caramelized shallots were tempered with the earthiness of the mushrooms and brightness of the fresh thyme.


  • 4 T butter, divided
  • 2 T olive oil , divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms, brushed clean and thickly sliced
  • 2 to 3 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves
  • four 6 oz filet mignon steaks (approximately 1-1/2" thick)
  • 1/2 C red wine (don't use the Barolo for this...just any leftover red wine will do)
  • 1-1/2 C broth (I used a chicken broth because that's what I had)
  • 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Bring the filet mignon steaks out of the fridge and salt and pepper them liberally. In a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat melt in 2 T butter in 1 T oil. Add thickly sliced mushrooms and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in shallots and cook for another 3 minutes. 

Add in fresh thyme and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a plate and return pan to the heat.

Melt remaining 2 T butter in remaining 1 T oil. When butter is hot and foaming, add seasoned steaks to pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium doneness. Transfer the steaks to a plate and set aside.

Add wine to the same pan and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid is reduced by about half, scraping the bottom with a spatula to deglaze the pan. Pour in the broth and reduce again for 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the cream and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Return mushrooms and steak to the pan and heat until warmed through again, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately. We served this with some zucchini slices and a crisp green salad.

And that's a wrap for my Italian wines for cold winter nights post. Next month, Jeff of FoodWineClick! will be hosting the #ItalianFWT bloggers as we head to Umbria and focus on the Sagrantino. Can't wait!


  1. Wow! What an awesome pairing here. I wouldn't naturally Barolo with filet mignon but with the mushrooms in particular I can see it being great!

  2. Your article made me smile with delight (the label) and in agreement (cost of Italian wines in the US versus in Italy, or France). This Langhe Nebbiolo expression sounds like a winner, as do the meatballs. Thanks for hosting this month Camilla!

  3. Bfruna Grimaldi makes great wines so a very good choice. :-) and paired with the filet mignon it sounds yummy on a cold winter day too.

  4. I am so glad you had a nice trip and this is another wonderful dinner that you are sharing with us. Love that you found a wine with your name.

  5. Your trip sounds delightful and so jealous of the wine steals you found. Fun that you found one with your name on it!

  6. Looks heavenly as always! And that Camilla, how could you go wrong!

    I enjoyed following along on FB with your family adventure. 3:30 sunset makes for interesting, long nights.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Nothing like a holiday to Denmark to put you in the mood for Italian Wines for Cold Winter Nights! Love the photo of you all bundled up. Barolo is the perfect Italian wine to warm up with and your pairing sounds delicious!

  8. Looks like a great holiday for you Cam!You gotta love a bottle with your name on it, and your dish looks like the perfect match for the wine!

  9. I can't believe you were seeing wines so cheap. And I love that you found a bottle of "Camilla" ; ) The pairing sounds delicious as well! Nothing like a hearty dish with barolo.


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