The Perfect Filet Mignon


filet1This post is more about technique than ingredients. Some simple guidelines to help you create a delicious, juicy steak every time. Here in the south we tend to stick to the “Low and Slow” rule of cooking meats. However, here we learn that “High heat — Great meat” is the rule of the day for cooking steak. I used some Roasted Garlic Thyme Butter to baste my steak with — so good. You can also serve the steak with a small pat of the butter placed underneath for added flavor. Served here with a Srirachi Loaded Sweet Potato Boat and Cole Slaw.



  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Take the filet mignon out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to cook it, and season it liberally with salt and pepper. That time allows the meat to come to room temperature – which will help ensure you cook it to the right doneness.
  3. Getting a good sear on the filet is critical.  Bring your heaviest sauté pan up to temperature over very high heat, and add a few tablespoon of oil – I generally use olive oil, but only for convenience. Lay the filet mignons down in the pan, and let them sear on that side for 3 – 4 minutes depending on thickness.  Don’t touch, don’t move, don’t fiddle. Just let it sear. Turn the steak over, and allow it to sear for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Near the end of those 3 – 4 minutes add a couple tablespoons of butter, and the herb of your choice.  I love rosemary, thyme also is great. Baste the steaks with melted herb butter.
  5. If you like your steak very rare, you can probably take it off now. For more well done filets, slide the pan into the hot oven.  Generally speaking, every few minutes will move the steak up a notch on the doneness scale from rare to medium to well. They really should never take more than another 7 – 8 minutes in the oven.
  6. Please don’t cut into the filet to tell doneness.  First off it’s a bad way to tell, as the steak is still cooking and constantly getting more cooked.  Second, and more important, cutting into the filet while it cooks, will cause the juice to run out of the meat, horribly drying it out. The best ways, in order, to tell doneness is 1) Judgment.  Because you’ve cooked a few filets, and you know how to do it you’ll eventually just know  2) A combo of judgment and the feel test (see below). 3) A distant third is a meat thermometer.
  7. Remove the steak and put it on a holding plate, and cover with foil for 5 minutes.  That allows the filet mignon to rest, and the juices to settle, so they don’t run out when you cut into it at the table. After five minutes, serve up that perfectly cooked filet mignon, and if you’re feeling really decadent, spoon a bit of the herb flavored brown butter right over the top.

Kitchen Tip: The Touch or Feel Method —  Basically, the firmer a steak, the more well-done it is.  With some practice, you can use that firmness, as well as the length of cooking time to know if the steak is rare, medium or well.  In fact, I suggest that every time you use a thermometer, you also practice the touch technique so you get a sense of what various temps feel like.


~ from


About Worth Stopping By . . .

I am a blogger who would rather talk than write. I enjoy traveling, family time, friends and food/fine dining. I have made some real efforts in the kitchen lately, and I blog in order to document and motivate myself to: 1.) fully use all of the fresh ingredients in my kitchen and 2.) cook healthy, creative meals.

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