Learn how to cook Filet Mignon perfectly! Nothing is better than a tender cut of steak with a beautiful brown crust and juicy interior.
Filet Mignon is the crème de la crème of steaks! It is so tender and just about melts in your mouth. This dish is worthy of any special occasion or celebration. Serve it with a side of Roasted Brussels, Roasted Green Beans, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and/or Easy Twice Baked Potatoes.
Because this lean cut of meat is already so tender, it doesn’t require much work or time to prepare. It only takes 15 minutes to cook and all you need is salt & pepper, butter, garlic, and some fresh herbs.
Ingredients for Filet Mignon:
- Filet Mignon– Aim for 1 1/2 inch thick steaks. Yes, this cut is expensive but it is so worth it.
- Olive oil– This is the best neutral oil to use to sear steak. It has a high smoke point (unlike butter).
- Kosher or Sea Salt– Any coarse salt works great. Avoid iodized salt that can cause a metallic aftertaste.
- Butter– Adds flavor and creaminess. Add just a couple minutes before finished cooking so as to not burn the milk proteins.
- Herbs– This is added along with the butter. Its flavors are infused into the steak as the butter is spooned over the steaks while cooking.
- Garlic– Added along with the butter and herbs to add more flavor. For extra garlicky steak, smash the cloves with the side of the knife before adding to the pan.
How to make Filet Mignon:
Time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Salt and bring to room temperature.
Pull steaks out of the fridge, season generously with salt and pepper on both sides and let sit on counter for 40-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add steaks. Do NOT move them. Allow to sear for 3 minutes and then flip.
- Add flavor.
Just after flipping the steak, toss the butter, garlic, and herbs into the pan. Keep everything (except for the steaks!) moving in the pan to prevent them from burning. Occasionally tilt the pan to scoop and spoon the herb garlic browned butter over the top of the steaks. Do this until the second side has cooked for 3 minutes. (If desired, sear sides ~1 minute per side.)
Place the skillet into the middle of the oven and bake. (3-4 minutes for rare, 5 minutes for medium-rare, 6-7 minutes for medium, 8-9 minutes for medium-well, and 12-13 minutes for well done. Times may vary based on thickness.)
Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes.
Cooking Levels of Steak
RARE: 120°F – 125°F (slightly warm center, soft and tender)
MEDIUM RARE: 130°F – 135°F (warm and red, perfect texture)
MEDIUM: 140°F – 145°F (hot and pink, slightly firm texture)
MEDIUM WELL: 150°F – 155°F (barely pink, firm texture)
WELL: 160°F. (brown, firm, dry. Please do NOT do this!!!)
Filet mignon is priced high because it accounts for about 1 pound of the cow making it more scarce. It is also lean and one of the most tender cuts of beef.
Starting the cooking process with a room temperature steak allows for more even cooking. Since a filet mignon is best when cooked to medium or medium rare, starting with a room temperature steak prevents the center from being cold.
Salting steak at least 40 minutes in advance produces a juicer steak with a nice crust. If you don’t have that much time, wait to salt until right before searing. Learn the science behind it here.
Steak should be seared to give texture, create a beautiful brown color, and to enhance it’s flavor.
To get a good sear on steak, heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the steak is placed down in the pan DO NOT move it! Let it cook for about 3 minutes, flip, and sear on the other side for 3 minutes.
Start by heavily seasoning with fresh ground salt and pepper. After searing on one side, add butter, garlic cloves, and herbs to the pan while searing on the second side. Tilt the pan and spoon the melted browned butter over the steaks a few times as it sears.
Baking the steak in the oven is necessary so as not not char the steak but reach it’s proper internal temperature.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE FILET MIGNON:
- Cast Iron Skillet– A cast iron skillet is a kitchen must-have! It heats evenly and gives meat a gorgeous yummy crust.
- Salt & Pepper Grinders– Fresh ground salt and pepper has the best flavor!
- Digital Instant Read Thermometer– If you’re going to spend $20/pound on filet mignon, you might as well invest in a $12 thermometer! I use this all the time for cooking any kind of protein or when making candy. It takes all the guess work out and ensures that all the time and money you spent on a dish turns out.
LOOKING FOR MORE BEEF? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Korean Beef Bulgogi
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
For the Steaks:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 filet mignon steaks, 4-6 ounces each
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Pull steaks out of the fridge, season generously with salt and pepper on both sides and let sit on counter for 40-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add steaks. Do NOT move them. Allow to sear for 3 minutes and then flip.
- Just after flipping the steak, add the 2 Tbsp. butter, 2 cloves garlic, 2 sprigs rosemary, and 2 sprigs thyme to the pan. Keep everything (except for the steaks) moving in the pan to prevent them from burning. Occasionally tilt the pan to scoop and spoon the herb browned butter over the top of the steaks. Keep basting until the second side has cooked for 3 minutes. (If desired, sear sides ~1 minute per side.)
- Place the skillet into the middle of the oven and bake. (3-4 minutes for rare, 5 minutes for medium-rare, 6-7 minutes for medium, 8-9 minutes for medium-well, and 12-13 minutes for well done. These times may vary based on thickness of steak.)
- Remove steaks from pan and let rest for 5 minutes.