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How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

08 Apr 2022 0 Comments


When it is about cooking a tender cut of beef, the less you experiment with it, the better. And, this is what filet mignon is all about. The melt-in-mouth texture that you get from this recipe is different from other cuts. For many people, it is the best piece of meat that they can have.

While it is easy to cook, considering the high price tag you should do it in the right way. A perfectly cooked filet makes a bold statement for someone who breathes recipes. Read on to find more about how to cook this marvelous recipe utilizing all the tips and tips right in your home.

What Is a Filet Mignon?

It is the smallest part of the tenderloin and is regarded as a cut of steak that comes with a hefty price tag. That’s because of two reasons: it constitutes around 2% of the total animal and has a great texture. The best part about filets is that when you don’t use it solo, it can work best with other cuts like the T-bone.

Typically, the T-bone constitutes the strip steak on the denser part of the bone whereas the filet is on the smallest side. Besides, if you aren’t sure of what you want, perhaps you may choose a T-bone to have them both.

No wonder filet mignon is considered the right choice. It is the tenderloin’s smallest cut that runs along the lower part of the animal’s spine. Because the flesh has little to no work, the part is very tender. It is quite different from other cuts like ribeye.

However, filets will lack a certain amount of fatty flavor that you can find on other cuts. But the best thing about them is that you can have a piece of meat that’s cut like butter and delicious from every aspect. Also, you need to prepare it in the best way possible to derive ultimate taste.

How to Prepare a Filet Mignon?

Preparing a filet doesn’t involve complex steps. The first thing that you should do is bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. Hence, remove it from the refrigerator thirty minutes before you plan to cook it. Although it is a small step, it creates an even cook.

When you place the cold meat in the hot skillet, it tends to get chewy and tough. Moreover, when you are paying a high price for a tended filet, you have to cover that extra mile to retain its texture. Besides, if you are wondering about bacteria infestation on the piece of meat after keeping it for thirty minutes, don’t worry.

This isn’t enough time for the harmful pathogens to multiply and spread. Pat the piece of meat dry nu using a paper towel. When you remove extra moisture, it makes a flavorful and delicious crust. Next, season the piece with kosher salt and black pepper (freshly ground) on all sides generously.

This is all you need to prepare a delicious filet. Besides, you can go beyond pepper and salt by adding another layer of spices or herbs. If you want extra flavor you can go with them, but it isn’t a necessity. Lastly, get ready to cook. If you intend to use an oven, preheat it right now. Also, keep a meat thermometer close at hand.

Tools You Will Need for Cooking Filet Mignon Recipes

Here is everything you need for a happy searing.

1. Cast iron pan

Unless you are grilling, a cast iron pan is the best option to cook the meat. It is inexpensive, cleanup is easy, and it gives you an amazing sear. While a 12-inch skillet might be perfect, you can go big as well.

2. Meat thermometer

When you are cooking the best meat, having the right temperature is important. Besides, if you are spending on an expensive steak, you have to look for something that’s fine-tuned. So, choose a thermometer that tells you the difference between cold and hot temperatures perfectly.


When it is about flipping the piece of meat, you need a set of tongs. Moreover, they are reliable and dishwasher-safe. Also, they won’t pinch your finger if you have the right one.

4. Knives

If you are looking for that perfect cut, a pair of good knives is all you should want. There is no shortage of great knives and if haven’t any in your kitchen, get the right one for you.

Searing the Filet

If you aim to have a wonderful crust on the filet, sear the piece of meat in a heavy, hot pan typically made of cast iron. Place the pan over heat and keep it that way for some time. Add a small amount of high heat, neutral cooking oil like canola oil.

Stay away from using olive oil. That’s because olive oil tends to have smoke points that can cause the piece of meat to burn quickly while it is still cooking. After the oil shimmers and right before it starts to smoke, put the steak into the pan.

As such, oil won’t splatter. If you are cooking a piece of meat that’s about eight-ounce, you have to cook it for a minimum of about three minutes on both sides. Keep the meat in a still position for a few minutes. Use tongs to lift the meat.

Take a look at it and find out whether it has a dark brown sear at its bottom. If so, flip it. However, if the meat sticks, the searing isn’t done the right way. The best way is to leave it for a minute or so and it will release on its own.

Repeat the process to sear another side. When you notice a nice crust, the filet is almost done. Now you got two choices: either you finish it in the pan or place it in a pre-heated oven.


Finishing the Filet in the Pan

Use a technique called “baste & roll” if you choose to finish the filet in the pan. After every part of the filet is seared nicely, turn it on its side and slowly begin to roll the filet around the cast-iron pan. And, when the whole thing turns brown, probably you should baste it.

Add two pieces of garlic, a clove, and two tablespoons of butter. Besides, you can add certain types of woody herbs such as rosemary and thyme in the pan. Let the butter melt for a couple of seconds before you tilt the pan slightly towards you so that the butter comes at the lower end.

Use a spoon to baste the filet with the butter. Drench the mignon and repeat it for around a minute. Use the thermometer to find the temperature in the filet’s center. If you are looking for a medium-rare, a temperature from 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit is needed. Or else, continue to baste and roll until you reach there.

Finishing the Filet in the Oven

As mentioned above, this is another way of finishing the piece of meat. Although basting and rolling take some effort, finishing the filet in the oven might be an easy option for you. To ensure that you do it in the right way, preheat the oven.

Try to keep the temperature at about 450 degrees. When you are done flipping the piece of meat on the pan, move the entire content inside the hot oven. After 5 minutes or so, use the thermometer to check the filet’s temperature. However, measure the temperature from the centermost part of the filet.


Resting and Serving

Before serving this delicious recipe, you should have a clear understanding of how long to cook the meat. In general, there should be a difference of about 10 degrees between two steak temperatures. Also, allow the piece of meat to sit idle for some minutes before you slice them with one of the best knives on a cutting board.

To cook a well-done mignon, it should have a temperature between 155 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit before resting. For medium-well, cook it for about 150 degrees Fahrenheit and for medium, cook it at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, for medium-rare, allow it to cook for about 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and for a rare filet, set the temperature at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whenever the filet reaches about 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, take it away from heat. Moreover, a wire rack could be handy. So, if you have one, make use of it. The flow of air surrounding the steak prevents the crust from oversteaming.

As such, it preserves the crust that you have seared hard enough to achieve. Allow the filet to sit for around ten minutes. The internal temperature tends to rise and help the juices to distribute. As a result, it brings the piece of meat to a perfect medium-rare.

Because filet mignon is mild in taste, you can have it with anything that you like to serve. However, most of the time, it is served with sauce and herb butter. It includes soy-mustard, easy béarnaise, or homemade sauce. The best way to serve the filet is to cut across the grain.

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