Pan sear filet mignon in a cast iron skillet once and you will NEVER grill it again, I promise. I wish I discovered this method a lot sooner, it’s simple enough and locks in all of the favors. There are plenty of ways to cook filet mignon but this is by far my favorite. If you go out to a nice steakhouse then this is most likely the method they are using to cook your filet. High heat and real butter.
How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
The secret to cooking the perfect pan-seared filet mignon is to combine pan searing with an oven finish. This gives you a slightly crusted outside with a juicy tender inside.
I’ve tried cooking strictly on the stove top for 6-7 minutes per side, but I feel like it tends to overcook the steak and sometimes burns the outside of your filet. The oven is better at providing indirect heat while searing gives you the much desired, grilled and slightly charred edge.
The stovetop and oven method is tried and true. Sear filets 2 minutes per side on the stove top in a cast iron skillet on high heat with butter or olive oil and then immediately transfer to preheated oven at 415° F. I typically bake about 6 minutes for medium rare. That’s the beauty of cast iron, you can easily transfer from stove top to oven. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend picking one up. They are very versatile and can be used for so many different recipes. Here is the one I have.
Carefully timing your cook time for steak always yields consistent results. It may sound like overkill, but I use my phone to time each side on the skillet and then in the oven. If you really adhere to cook times I promise you will never overcook steak again. Which for me was always incredibly disappointing after all my hard work. Just like when you cut into your steak and it’s colorless and grey? Yeah you killed it again, Shawn.
Season filet mignon with salt and pepper heavily. This is the only thing I put on my steaks. Filet’s are such a flavorful and tender cut, I don’t think you need anything else.
- 4 10 ounce thick tenderloin beef filets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Garlic & Herb Butter:
- ½ stick butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- For the herb butter: Soften the butter in a microwave safe bowl until malleable, 10-15 seconds. Stir in herbs and garlic until fully mixed. Spoon the butter onto tin foil doing your best to reshape it to resemble a stick of butter. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes and remove 5 minutes before adding to the filet.
- For the filets: Preheat the oven to 415° F. Remove steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the olive oil and plain butter to an oven safe cast iron skillet and turn up high, allow the skillet to become scorching hot first. Place the filets face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the filets and sear for an additional 2 minutes. This will give your filets a nice seared edge.
- Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. [WARNING] skillet may be hot, handle with oven mitts. For rare, bake for 4-5 minutes. Medium rare, 5-6 minutes. Medium, 6-7 minutes. Remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for a 8-10 ounce portion. Remove filets from the skillet and set on a plate, lightly cover with tin foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature. Top with a slice of garlic and herb butter and serve.
Rare: 130°F to 135°F
Medium Rare: 140°F to 145°F
Medium: 155°F to 160°F
Well Done: 165°F to 170°F