Cooking the perfect steak is not an easy task. Getting the temperature just right takes practice. I spent many years of my life as a vegetarian and now that I am eating meat again, filet mignon is my favorite cut of beef. Medium rare is the temperature I strive for. I found this technique on floatingkitchen.net under the how to cook the perfect filet mignon heading, and she isn’t joking around, it is perfect. However, I did add the butter and an extra 4 minutes cooking time in the pan.
Picture above from a restaurant in Florence, Italy, one of my best meals there; filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce, sauce recipe below. Picture below a perfectly cooked filet mignon.
- 2 filet mignons, approx. 2 inches thick
- 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 TBS butter
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature, approx. 20 minutes. Set oven to 425 degrees. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan to medium-high heat (I use a cast iron). Add olive oil and let it heat up.
Add steaks an let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. Place 1 TBS butter on each filet and immediately place in pre-heated over. Cook for another 7 minutes or to your desired temperature.
6 minutes= medium-rare
7 minutes= medium
Transfer steaks to a plate and let rest for 5-10minutes while tented with foil.
Green Peppercorn Sauce
Original recipe found on http://www.thespruceeats.com, I have made minor modifications to directions.
- Fine Sea Salt
- 4 TBS dried peppercorns
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup cognac, brandy or Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup cream
Coarsely grind 3 TBS of the peppercorns with a mortar, blender, food processor….whatever you have. Spread the coarsely ground peppercorns onto both sides of fillets before cooking. Cook the fillets as described above.
Add the cognac to a skillet and stir well over medium heat. If you are using the same skillet you cooked the fillets in its a bonus. I use a cast iron and transfer my fillets to a cooking pan for the oven. Add the cream and remaining TBS of peppercorns. Salt to taste. Let the sauce thicken slightly then spoon over fillets.