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Filet Mignon (Tenderloin Steak) – The Stay At Home Chef

Filet mignon is the epitome of luxury when it comes to steaks. It’s the Cadillac of meats. It’s the king of steaks. It has unparalleled tenderness and a delicate beefy flavor. Cooking filet mignon to perfection can seem intimidating, but with our detailed guide, you’ll be able to achieve restaurant-quality results right at home. Whether you prefer it seared to a golden brown or cooked low and slow with the reverse sear method, this recipe ensures that your filet mignon is juicy, flavorful, and simply perfect every time.

We also have detailed guides for how to cook steak perfectly every time as well as how to master grilled steaks should you need more information.

Why Our Recipe

  • Favorite filet mignon cooking techniques from a certified steak judge so you know it’s going to be good.
  • Perfect for achieving the ideal tenderness and flavor, whether you prefer a traditional sear or a reverse sear method.

A juicy tenderloin filet on a gray plate.

Filet mignon is known by various names depending on the region and context, but all refer to the same luxurious cut of beef. In the United States, it is commonly called filet mignon. In the UK and other parts of the world, it is often referred to as beef tenderloin or simply tenderloin steak. In some high-end restaurants, you might also see it listed as chateaubriand, particularly when referring to a larger cut for sharing.

Ingredient Notes

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make a perfect filet mignon steak. An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make a perfect filet mignon steak.
  • Filet Mignon Steaks: Choose steaks that are at least 1-inch thick to ensure they cook evenly and remain juicy. Look for a quality cut of beef with good marbling, preferably choice or prime grade.
  • Olive Oil: Helps create a beautiful sear and adds a subtle flavor to the meat, but you can use other cooking oils.
  • Salt and Peppers: A combination of salt, black pepper, and white pepper enhances the steak’s natural flavors without overpowering it.
  • Butter and Garlic: Topping the steak with garlic butter adds richness and a hint of savory garlic, making each bite melt in your mouth.

Purchasing Your Filet

  • Look for steaks that are at least 1-inch thick if not closer to 2-inches; thicker cuts are more forgiving during cooking and will stay juicier.
  • The color should be a vibrant, cherry-red, indicating freshness.
  • Marbling, or the small streaks of fat within the muscle, is crucial for flavor and tenderness—while filet mignon is typically lean, a bit of marbling enhances its succulence.
  • Opt for USDA Prime or Choice grades for the best quality, as these grades indicate superior marbling and tenderness.
  • Ensure that the cut is uniform in shape and size, which helps in even cooking.
  • Check that the meat is moist but not wet, with no off smells, as these can be signs of spoilage. Buying from a reputable butcher or a trusted grocery store can also guarantee higher quality and better handling of the meat.
A close up view of a filet mignon topped with garlic butter. A close up view of a filet mignon topped with garlic butter.

Cooking Options

When it comes to cooking filet mignon, three popular methods stand out: butter basting, reverse searing, and the stove-to-oven method.

Butter Basting

Butter basting infuses the steak with rich, buttery flavors and aromatics like garlic and herbs, creating a luscious, moist crust. This hands-on approach requires attention to avoid overcooking but results in a deeply flavorful filet mignon. This is a good choice for more experienced cooks who are only cooking one or two steaks.

Reverse Sear

The reverse sear method involves slowly baking the steak before finishing it with a high-heat sear, ensuring consistent doneness throughout and providing excellent control over the internal temperature. This method is particularly suited for cooking multiple steaks or preparing filet mignon for a crowd.

Stove-to-Oven Method

The stove-to-oven method, a standard culinary school technique, is the easiest and most straightforward for home cooks. It starts with searing the filet in a hot skillet to create a beautiful crust, then finishing in the oven for even cooking. This method delivers consistent, reliable results, making it ideal for achieving a perfectly cooked filet mignon every time.

Resting Butter

If you want to give your steak even more flavor, our resting butter infused with both garlic and herbs is perfect for enhancing the flavor and juiciness of your filet mignon. After cooking your steak, place a tablespoon-sized amount of resting butter on a platter and set the hot steak directly on top. Add another tablespoon on top of the steak, allowing it to melt and infuse the meat with rich, savory flavors. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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