Cook your filet mignon the way top steakhouses do for absolute best results. Pan sear and finish in the oven, and you will have the best filet mignon you have ever tasted. And it is so simple to do.
This is my go-to method for this cut of the beef tenderloin. An extremely dependable 30 minutes including resting time.
How to pick a filet mignon.
Start with quality filets. It is all about quality here more than almost any other cut of beef. Prime is the top 2%; you can buy it for $35 per pound which I have done at the best meat shops. Next, just under Prime, is Choice. About half the beef sold in the USA is Choice, and this is what you should usually buy. It will be about $10-15 per pound. Select is next but just say no. If you see a beef tenderloin that does not have one of these three ratings, it is guaranteed to be bad.
You can buy whole beef tenderloins and trim it yourself, and if I’m having company and need 6-8 filets, this is what I do.
I tend to be at Sam’s Club early in the day on my way home from work (today I was there at 7:30 AM), and they almost ways have some filets marked down. I think of that as aged beef. So about 8 oz 1 1/2 inch thick cuts are a great start.
How to season a filet mignon.
Just salt and pepper will do. That is enough. I like some garlic and recommend a light coat with 7:2:2 seasoning (see my post on making 7:2:2 HERE).
I don’t use any other seasoning and definitely no marinade or sauce. I like butter, so I use butter as an option in the recipe. You can also top with a pat of butter for serving. My wife loves her Blue Cheese and Garlic Compound Butter.
How to Cook A Perfect Filet Mignon
The real secret to cooking the perfect filet mignon is to initially pan sear to get some Maillard reaction (tasty browning) followed by finishing in a 400-425 degree oven to the final temperature you want. It is that simple. Really.
I love to use a cast iron pan for this. It does not have to be cast iron. Any oven-safe pan that can move from stovetop to oven will do. If you don’t have that, sear in a stove top pan and move to a different oven safe pan to finish. If using the later technique, I would preheat the oven pan with the oven, so the filet goes in a hot pan.
You can also grill. How to Grill a Filet Mignon on a Gas Grill
When is it done?
I’m more of a medium rare guy but here are the recommendations. Remove the meat from the oven 3-4 degrees less than your final desired temperature. Lightly tent with foil for about 5 minutes. The temperature will rise, and the moisture will absorb into the cells for more tenderness.
Season all sides to taste. Just kosher salt and pepper will be fine. I use my 7:2:2 (see my post on making 7:2:2).
In an oven safe pan (I love my 10-inch cast iron) over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter or use oil. Some prefer an oil at this point due to the lower smoke point of butter, but I have never had a problem. When hot, sear both sides of the filets for 2-3 minutes. Sear, flip, sear and final flip before going to the oven.
Transfer to your preheated oven. Cook to about your desired done temperature. (see chart). Remove from oven a few degrees early. For me, medium-rare is always about 12-15 minutes to get an internal temp of about 145. Also, time can vary some due to exact temperature of the meat to start, exact temperature of the oven, the pan used, and the thickness of the meat. Rare many be as little as 5 minutes so beware if you want rare.
Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil on a plate and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting. It needs to absorb fluids internally and the temperature will rise a few more degrees during the rest.
May 17, 2017