Filet Mignon Recipe - Learn how to cook 2-inch pan seared filet mignon steaks (tenderloin steaks) in cast iron with this easy dinner recipe. Tender, juicy, delicious steak is easy to make in a cast iron skillet with this tasty recipe.
It's simple to make steakhouse filet mignon at home. We'll show you how to make pan-seared steaks in a cast iron skillet and finish them off in the oven just like the pros.
Secret To Cooking Steak
Secret to this Recipe...is found in the complex flavors developed by the Maillard Reaction. When the steak hits a searing hot pan, a series of chemical reactions occur that create the beautiful browning of the outside, and release the incredible aromas and flavors that have us craving a good steak.
filet mignon - Two center cut 2-inch filet mignon (tenderloin steaks). See our FAQs below.
kosher salt - We used Morton Kosher Salt for this recipe for its course texture.
olive oil - For searing the meat.
salted butter - We use salted butter unless otherwise specified.
cracked black pepper - Black pepper will burn at high heat. So add it to finish the steaks after they have been cooked.
What To Look For When Buying Steak
Filet mignon (tenderloin steaks) are cut from the whole beef tenderloin. It is a lean cut of meat and is considered the choicest, most tender cut of beef.
Your local butcher will be able help you choose the right meat. But here are a few tips to consider:
Color: The beef should look fresh. Choose thick filet mignon steaks with uniform, red color. Avoid steaks that are pale, or uneven in color.
Cut: For best results, choose 2-inch-thick steak that is cut to an even thickness all the way across so that the meat cooks evenly. The size of the steak will impact the cooking time. A 1-inch cut will take less time to cook. So adjust your time accordingly.
Avoid steaks cut from the butt end of the tenderloin, as this will be a tough piece of beef.
Grade: The grade of the beef is also an important consideration. There are 3 grades of beef: Prime, Choice, and Select. Prime cuts are the highest quality, then Choice, followed by Select. The primary difference is in the marbling of the fat content of the beef. Prime steaks will have a beautiful white lines or marbling though out. Choice and Select will have less. Marbling equals flavor and is highly desirable.
How To Cook Filet Mignon
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
Salt the Steaks. The first step is to salt the meat by sprinkling the salt evenly over the surface of the steak. You can do this up to 24 hours ahead of time.
Pro Tip: How Far Ahead Should You Salt A Steak?
Salt steaks up to 24 hours prior to cooking. This will give the salt time to infuse into the meat, enhancing the flavor of the inside as well as the outside. We typically salt same day and let the meat rest, uncovered in the refrigerator until it's time to cook.
Bring to Room Temperature. Bring the meat up to room temperature. We do this by setting them, unwrapped, on the counter for an hour before cooking.
Sear the Steaks. Pre-heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Put a little olive oil into the skillet. When it is hot (look for ripples and movement in the oil to indicate it is hot), put each steak into the pan.
Pro Tip: Dry Off Meat Before Searing
Excess moisture on the outside of the meat will prevent browning. So, be sure to dry off the meat with paper towels before you sear.
Sear the steaks for exactly 2 minutes on the first side. Then turn the meat over and sear the other side for 2 minutes. The steaks should have a good brown sear on them at this point.
Baste with Butter. Add 2 tablespoons of salted butter to the pan. Baste each steak with the melted butter by repeatedly spooning the hot melted butter onto the meat. The butter will enhance the flavor of the beef.
Transfer to Oven. Finish them in a 400°F oven, cooking them for an additional 6 minutes.
Check for Doneness. Use a fast and accurate meat thermometer like a Thermapen® ONE, to check that the internal temperature of the meat has reaches the desired temperature.
Take them out of the oven at 122°F. The meat will continue to come up to temperature as they rest under the foil. The final internal temperature of your steak will be 130°F; perfect Medium-Rare steaks.
Food Safety Tip for Beef
The USDA Internal Temperature Guidelines recommended temperature for beef is medium doneness or 145°F.
Let Meat Rest for 5 Minutes. Once the steaks are done, transfer them to a warm plate and cover them with aluminum foil and let them rest untouched for 5 minutes before slicing into them. This will give them enough time to retain their juices. Slicing into them too quickly will cause the juices to run out of the steak.
Pan-Seared Steak FAQS
Using the direct grilling method grill 2-inch steak 5 minutes on each side on the high heat side of either a gas grill or a charcoal grill for a perfect medium-rare steak. Alternatively, you can cook the steaks on the grill with a little bit of oil and a cast iron pan.
The best way to serve a filet mignon is with your favorite vegetable side dish, like roasted broccoli, and mashed potatoes. We love to serve sliced steak on a charcuterie board with some crostini, gruyere and manchego cheese, and some great wine.
Bring steak up to room temperature so that the meat cooks evenly.
There you have it. It's as easy as that! We hope you enjoy our super simple, super tasty recipe for perfect filet mignon. Try it and let us know how you like it. We'd love to hear from you!
xo ~ Seanna
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