Filet Mignon Recipe – How to Cook Perfect Filet Mignon

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If you equate filet mignon with fancy, it’s probably because it’s something you order at a celebratory dinner in a steakhouse or buy once a year for Valentine’s Day. This small, extremely tender steak comes with a high price tag, so if you’re cooking it at home, you want to make sure it’s perfect when it’s time to eat.

Here’s our foolproof method for making a crusty-on-the-outside, fork-tender-on-the-inside steak that’s finished with a garlic butter to melt and pool around it all.

The Ingredients You’ll Need for Filet Mignon

What’s the Best Way to Cook Filet Mignon?

The answer for perfectly cooked filet mignon lies in a process called the reverse sear. Pioneered by J. Kenji López-Alt when he was at Cook’s Illustrated, the reverse sear method is the opposite of how steaks are traditionally cooked. Instead of searing over high heat and then finishing the cooking in the oven — which results in a gray band of meat around a pink center — the steaks are slowly and evenly cooked in a low-temperature oven until they are about fifteen degrees from your desired doneness.

To finish cooking and get that tasty browned crust on the outside, the steaks are quickly seared in a super-hot pan, which also gives them the complex flavors and textures you crave. You’re left with a perfectly medium-rare filet mignon that’s beautifully burnished on the outside but evenly pink on the inside.

What Cut of Steak Is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon are steaks cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin, and while it’s the most tender part of the animal, it’s also one of the smallest, thus the hefty price tag.

Filet mignon is free of any tough muscle, but it’s also lean and doesn’t have much fat. This means that it cooks extremely quickly, but can just as easily overcook and become dry and tough. Our technique ensures your pricey steak is cooked just the way you want it to be.

How Long Do I Cook Filet Mignon?

The whole cook time is under about 30 minutes after I tweaked Lopez-Alt’s method a little bit to ensure consistent results and a tasty crust.

Setting the oven at 275ºF slowly cooks the steaks evenly but fairly quickly — 20 to 30 minutes. For searing afterward, a little extra oil and about a minute on each side produced a tasty dark-brown crust.

What Temperature Do I Cook Filet Mignon To?

Make sure you have an accurate thermometer, which is key to this cooking method. You’ll use it to check the internal temperature of the steak to know when to take it out of the oven.

For medium rare, aim for about 115°F. If you’d like the steak more rare or more well-cooked, add or subtract 10 degrees for each level of doneness. Remember that the steaks will continue cooking out of the oven and during the searing process and can go up to 10 degrees higher.

How Do I Serve Filet Mignon?

Reverse-seared filet mignon is tender, juicy, and delicious, but it never hurts to gild the lily. While the steak’s in the oven, make a simple garlic butter by mashing some garlic, parsley, butter, and salt together. Dollop this onto the just-seared steaks and watch magic happen as the butter melts and mingles with the meat, letting you dip each bite of steak into buttery heaven.

As for some sides to serve with filet mignon, here are some great ideas:

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