So….you’ve decided to cook up a juicy, tender, flavorful Filet Mignon. Obviously, the first thing you need to do make your way to your favorite purveyor of this most tender of steaks, and plunk down what is likely to be a fair amount of your hard-earned money.
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How to Cook Filet Mignon
Oven Roasted Filet Mignon
Best Filet Mignon Recipes
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A seared filet mignon is, without a doubt the most tender of the steaks. It’s cut from the beef tenderloin. A muscle that runs along the back of the cow, which does very little work (relative to the rest of the cow), and that is what makes it so tender.
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To cook the perfect beef tenderloin, it helps to know a bit about the cut of meat itself. The tenderloin is a long, cylinder shaped muscle that runs along the spine (one on each side) of the cow. It’s the muscle that Filet Mignon are cut from. Because of its location (far from the legs), is does relatively little work, which is one of the main reasons it’s such a tender cut of meat.
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Perhaps the most common steak question I get is “How long should I cook Filet Mignon?”
The short, but likely inaccurate answer, is “about 10-12 minutes”.
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Filet Mignon is often considered the greatest steak cut of them all. It’s unmatched in tenderness. Has a somewhat mild flavor, compared to other cuts, and when cooked right, it nearly guaranteed to please. I’ll frequently cook my filet in the oven, but once it gets warm enough, it’s time to bring the Filets out to the Grill.
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Filet mignon, or “dainty fillet” is among the most coveted cuts from the cow due its lovely, tender texture and subtle flavor. Despite the title of our dish, filet mignon should not be fully cooked in the oven. I first sear the steak on the stove top, then transfer to the oven to finish. This method is my favorite, due to the crispy outside crust and perfectly cooked center, beautifully rare.
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Filet Mignon is the premium of premium cuts of steak. Here I show you how to make a Seared Filet Mignon with Rosemary Butter. It is one of my favorite recipes to make for special occasions, and never fails to wow my friends and family.
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Filet Mignon in a Peppercorn Sauce, is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make at home. While it comes off as a complicated and complex meal, it’s actually very simple to make, with just a few ingredients. The star ingredient of course is the Filet itself, and for this recipe I’m using some wonderful steaks from Certified Steak and Seafood.
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There is no reason to be intimidated about cooking a filet mignon. While I have many friends and family that get nervous about steaks…they really are one of the easier things you can cook. To me, the Perfect Filet Mignon has a salty, crispy outside, and tender, juicy, medium rare center. The perfect Filet has aromatic hints of rosemary, and the savory nuttiness of brown butter. Below, and
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There’s come controversy whether the Filet Mignon is the “king of steaks” or not. It’s certainly among the priciest cuts, and the most tender, but critics says that with that tender texture, comes a loss of flavor. I say I understand both points of view; I’d also say that having to choose a favorite cut, is like asking a mom to choose a favorite child….so, why not love them all.
What is Filet Mignon?
The term itself is French, meaning “Danty Filet”, and while there is a bit of variation throughout the United States (and a bit more worldwide), Filet Mignon generally refers to a round shaped steak cut from the tenderloin muscle of a cow. You may hear the same cut referred to as Filet, Filet Steak, Tenderloin Steak, Beef Medallions, Beef Tornados.
The tenderloin is a long, snake-like shaped muscle, that runs along the spine of the cow; and there are two per cow. Because of the location of the muscle, it actually does very little work supporting weight or movement; so it develops little connective tissue. That lack of connective tissue is what makes Tenderloin, and Filet Mignon, the most tender of all cuts of steak.
How tender is Filet Mignon, and what does it taste like?
Filet is indeed very tender. Cooked correctly, you won’t need much more than a butter knife to cut it. The grain the meat is fairly fine, and runs vertically through the cut. Many people refer to filet as having a buttery, or silky texture.
That tenderness does come at a cost. Filet mignon is also one of the more mild flavored steaks, largely due to it’s lack of fat. You’ll find much milder beef flavor when compared to other steakhouse cuts like New York, Ribeye, or Skirt.
The good news is the flavor of Filet Mignon makes it perfect for pairing with sauces like Bernaise, Hollandaise, bordelaise, Chimichurri, Peppercorn, Mushroom….not to mention an endless number of flavored (compound) butters.
How Do You Cook Filet Mignon?
There are as many ways to cook a Filet Mignon as there are great chefs out there. And the best way for you is really a matter of taste. That said, my goto cooking technique is to quickly sear the filet over high heat in a pan on top of the stove, and then move the whole thing into the oven. The pan drippings give you a lot of options for sauce making, and it’s also very easy to baste the filet in butter an herbs, a great steakhouse trick.
A close second, is grilled Filet Mignon. The smoke and char from the grill provide great flavor; it’s just hard to make a sauce through a grill grate!
How Long do You Cook Filet Mignon?
I always cook my Filet over high heat with the goal of getting a strong sear & crust on the outside of the steak. That provides a ton of flavor. Then, to get the internal temp to where you want it, you can finish the filet at lower temperature in the oven or a closed grill.
I like to cook filet mignon to medium rare, which is about 125 degrees internal temperature. Below that, and I find the meat’s texture is too soft. Once the steak reaches (or exceeds) medium, the low fat filet mignon begins to dry out and toughen, loosing the tenderness that you’re paying a premium for.
Exact cooking time is always hard to lay out in instructions, as it depends on the thickness of the cut, and the temp you cook the Filet at. My general rule of thumb for a 3 inch thick filet, is to sear it on the first side for about 3 minutes, the second side for about 3 minutes, and then cook in a 400 degree oven for about 4 minutes for medium rare. But your best bet is a meat thermometer.