How to Perfectly Cook Filet Mignon at Home

Filet mignon, often associated with fancy steakhouses and high prices, is actually quite simple to master in your own kitchen. By following a few key tips and techniques, you can recreate this steakhouse classic for a special occasion or a dinner party – without the need for an expensive restaurant reservation. Let’s dive into the world of filet mignon and learn how to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth texture right at home.

What is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is the smaller, tender tip of the tenderloin, known for its exceptionally tender texture. It’s one of the most expensive cuts of steak due to its desirability. Interestingly, filet mignon can also be found as part of the popular T-bone steak. The T-bone consists of strip steak on one side of the bone and filet mignon on the other. If you can’t decide between the two, the T-bone offers the best of both worlds.

Filet Mignon

How to Cook Filet Mignon

To achieve a medium steak, start by cooking your filet mignon at medium-high heat on the stovetop for approximately 5 minutes. Flip the steak, add butter, and continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a preheated 400°F oven and cook for about 5 minutes. Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven, so be cautious not to overcook it. It’s a good idea to check the temperature of the meat using a meat thermometer before transferring it to the oven, so you can gauge how close you are to your desired level of doneness.

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Temperature Guide for Filet Mignon

Cook your filet mignon to your preferred level of doneness. However, we recommend not going above 155°F for the best results:

  • Medium-rare: 130-135°F
  • Medium: 135-145°F
  • Medium-well: 145-155°F

Cooked Filet Mignon

Top Tips for Cooking Filet Mignon

  • Use a cast iron skillet: For the best sear, if you have a cast iron skillet, use it. If not, ensure that the pan you’re using is oven-safe, as you’ll be starting on the stovetop and finishing in the oven. Heavy-bottomed skillets are ideal as they retain heat and prevent sticking. Nonstick skillets are generally not recommended for cooking steaks in the oven.
  • Achieve a good sear: The key to a deep, crusty sear is to use a super-hot pan. Preheat your skillet until the oil is almost smoking before adding the steak. Be patient, as a perfect sear takes about 3 to 5 minutes per side. To enhance the flavor and texture, season the steak with salt and pepper for 45 minutes to 1 hour, refrigerate, pat it dry, and then sear it. This process draws out moisture from the steak, resulting in a golden crust.
  • Use both oil and butter: Start with olive oil, or a neutral oil, and then after flipping the steak, add butter and continuously baste it. Butter adds flavor and richness, which is a signature characteristic of steaks served in high-end restaurants.
  • Seasoning: Filet mignon requires minimal seasoning – a sprinkle of salt and pepper will suffice. For an extra layer of flavor, baste the steak with butter and rosemary. Feel free to omit the rosemary or add some garlic if you prefer.
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Serving Ideas for Filet Mignon

Pair your perfectly cooked filet mignon with one of our favorite steak side dishes, such as a classic wedge salad, goat cheese-stuffed rolls, Parmesan roasted green beans, or creamy garlic and feta mashed potatoes. However, the options are endless when it comes to complementing this steak. Consider options like melting potatoes, cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts, or air fryer carrots for a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

To elevate your steak game even further, add a pat of red wine butter, Tuscan butter, or cowboy butter on top of your cooked filet mignon for a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Have you tried cooking filet mignon at home? Share your experience in the comment section below!

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