Cook the perfect Filet Mignon with a juicy and tender middle, and a super crusty sear, with these easy step-by-step instructions! You’ll start by searing the steak in a hot cast-iron skillet and then transfer is to the oven to get it to your preferred temperature. Once you learn the basic instructions you can have a gorgeous cut of meat ready to serve up for any special occasion.
Filet Mignon Recipe
I have to admit… I was pretty terrified when I saw the price tag on a pound of these perfectly tender, grass-fed cuts of filet mignon.
But I knew I had what it took to master the art of cooking this precious piece of steak… and so do you!
After slightly over-cooking the first round (a medium-well steak is still a pretty delicious dinner!) I tweaked the recipe a bit and was able to produce a perfectly cooked filet mignon that would rival any high-end restaurant’s.
The secret?… It’s actually two-fold.
First, you MUST use a cast-iron skillet. Sure, a stainless steel skillet will work just fine, but a cast-iron skillet is how you will get that perfectly seared crust.
Second, a combo technique of pan-searing and then transferring them to the oven to finish cooking is key to a steak that is not overly scorched or underdone.
But that’s merely scratching the surface. (I didn’t even mention the delightful garlic herb butter that gets dolloped on top at the end!)
What is Filet Mignon?
Filet mignon is a steak cut of beef that comes from the small end of the tenderloin. This is located along the rib cage on the backside of the animal.
Since this area of the animal is not weight-bearing, there is minimal connective tissue coursing throughout which lends to a more tender cut of meat.
USDA Choice vs. Prime vs. Grass-Fed
You can find USDA choice and prime cuts of meat as well as grass-fed filet mignon. Typically, prime cuts have more marbling (i.e. fat) and are found with a higher price tag at specialty butcher shops. USDA choice is still an excellent pick if you would like to find a good balance between tenderness and price.
However, if you would like slightly more nutrition, opt for grass-fed. It will be a little less tender but still full of incredible flavor.
When selecting your cuts, be sure to pick ones of similar width and thickness. If they are too different, you will have more difficulty cooking them at the same time.
Generally, you want to find filets that are around 6 ounces and about 2 inches thick and 3-4 inches wide.
How to Cook
Filet mignon can be cooked in a variety of methods including being baked in the oven, grilled, pan-seared, or even sous vide. The best way to cook it is a combination of two methods:
- First, pan-searing filet mignon gives the cuts of meat a crispy crust.
- Second, popping the steaks into the oven allows you to finish by baking which gives you better control of their final temperature.
Cook’s Tip: You will be cooking the steaks at a very high heat. While olive oil has a smoke point close to 400 degrees, avocado oil’s smoke point is over 500 degrees!
Before pan-searing the steaks you will want to coat them liberally with a combination of sea salt and course black pepper. You pretty much cannot go overboard here, so salt and pepper away!!
(Or, you can try out this Copycat Texas Roadhouse Steak Rub to take it up a notch!)
Best Type of Skillet
It is not often that I HEAVILY recommend using a cast-iron skillet, but this filet mignon recipe and this blackened salmon recipe are on the top of that list.
Not only does the cast-iron skillet give the meat a great sear, but it also has wonderful heat retention and is able to go straight from the stovetop into a 400 degree oven.
Cooking in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet will also impart an extra bit of flavor that other skillets will not be able to do. If you have a cast iron skillet handed down to you by an older relative, use that one! If not, you can always use whatever skillet you have.
Cook’s Tip: Cast-iron skillets get better and acquires more flavor with time!
Best Temperature for Filets
When cooking your filet mignon, it is best to serve it medium-rare, or medium at the most. You can determine this by using a meat thermometer and measuring the internal temperature of the steak in the center and at the thickest portion.
For medium-rare: Cook until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees.
For medium: Cook until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
The meat will continue cooking for an additional 3-5 degrees once removed from the oven. Remember, you can always pop it back in the oven, but you can’t un-cook it!
There are so many ways to serve this filet mignon recipe, but a few of my favorites include:
- With a tablespoon or two of homemade garlic butter.
- Covered in caramelized onions.
- Over a bed of sautéed spinach or mushrooms.
- All on its own – because it is THAT good!
Let your imagination go wild when it comes to side dishes to serve with this recipe. Some of the best sides dishes for filet mignon include:
- Honey Oven Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Filet Mignon Recipe
Cook the perfect Filet Mignon with a juicy and tender middle, and a super crusty sear, with these easy step-by-step instructions! You'll start by searing the steak in a hot cast-iron skillet and then transfer is to the oven to get it to your preferred temperature.
- 2 6-oz. filet mignon about 2 inches thick
- 1 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Coarse ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Salt and pepper filets liberally on both sides. (This helps them get a crusty sear!) Let filets sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Once oven is heated to temperature add oil to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Wait until oil is sizzling to add filets. Cook steaks for 2 ½ minutes per side without moving. Sear the remaining sides for 1 minute total.
Add skillet with steaks to the preheated oven and cook for 4-5 minutes. Using a meat thermometer measure the temperature of the steaks in the thickest portion to determine doneness.*
- For a medium-rare steak, pull it out when the temperature reads 125 degrees.
- For a medium steak, remove them when the temperature reads 130 degrees. (The filet will continue to cook slightly once removed from the oven.)