Filet Mignon {Plus 4 Sauce Options}

December 21, 2020

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How to Cook Filet Mignon – Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to prepare and cook the ultimate steak. We use the reverse sear method for these thick cuts, and in my opinion it’s the absolute best way to go!

Close up image of filet mignon sliced to show medium rare interior.

What is Filet Mignon?

Filet Mignon (pronounced fee-le mee-nyawn) is a lean yet incredibly tender type of beef steak that is taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin coming from a cow’s back.

There are many ways to cook it such as stove-top pan searing, grilling, baking, cooking in a sous vide, or smoking.

Here we use a reverse sear method which is a combination of both oven and stove-top.

So what’s so great about the reverse sear method? This method cooks the steaks low and slow in an oven for maximum tenderness and even cooking, then it’s quickly seared in a smoking hot skillet for a gorgeously browned, crisp crust on the exterior.

The quick searing after baking is where it get’s the name “reverse sear”, because commonly meats are seared before baking.

It is a popular cooking method for filet mignon among chef’s and it’s what you’ll find in many fine dining restaurants.

This method creates hands down one of the most tender steaks you’ll ever eat! You should be able to easily slice through it with a butter knife.

Tender, juicy, browned, flavorful, and finished with one of your choice of four optional sauces(see below). Such an impressive yet simple entree that’s sure to get rave reviews!

Just be sure with this method you have an oven safe leave-in probe thermometer, it is critical to not over-cooking the steaks. And trust me they are worth the investment! I use mine nearly every day.

Four cooked fillet mignon steaks on a serving platter.

Filet Mignon Cost

  • Filet mignon can range anywhere from $10 lb. (sale price) to upwards of $60 lb. or more from specialty shops.
  • I’ve noticed on average at local grocery stores it’s going for $19.99 lb.
  • I usually just purchase it from Costco where lately it’s been $13.99 lb. where I live. And it’s plenty delicious.

Steak Grades

Steak comes in three grades:

  • Select: Lowest quality. Avoid this type of beef, it wouldn’t be worth spending money on.
  • Choice (regular and Angus): This is a mid grade and is usually always plenty good enough.
  • Prime: Here we have the highest grade (and includes pricey Wagyu steaks among it), it has the ultimate “prime” texture and flavor. It will cost you but it’s is the highest quality thanks to the extra marbling of fat it contains.

Photo of ingredients for filet mignon. Includes four medium filet mignon steaks, light olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper.

Ingredients Needed to Cook Filet Mignon

You only need 4 ingredients. Then from there, pair with a sauce or just melt quickly some butter in the pan after searing steaks and add that.

  • Filet Mignon steaks: You’ll need 4 (8 oz) steaks. They should be 1 1/2 to 2-inches thick and all very close to the same size.
  • Kosher salt: If you don’t have kosher salt, regular table salt will work fine. Season well.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: I crack it fairly large for steaks and use a generous amount.
  • Light olive oil: You need a higher smoke point oil such as this because the pan gets incredibly hot. Another oil like vegetable oil works well.

Tools You’ll Need

Photo of preparing filet mignon steaks for cooking in the oven on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Also shows an oven safe probe thermometer being used and steaks cooking in oven. Showing how to reverse sear steaks in a cast iron skillet on stovetop.

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon {Reverse Sear Method}

  1. Rest steaks at room temp: Let steaks rest at room temperature 1 hour uncovered to help take cold chill off.
  2. Preheat oven, prepare baking sheet: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place an oven safe wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Dry and season steaks: After steaks have rested, dab dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper and gently press salt and pepper over steak.
  4. Place steaks on rack, insert thermometer: Transfer steaks to wire rack on baking sheet spacing apart. Insert an oven probe meat thermometer into center of one steak, inserting from the side.
  5. Bake slow in oven: Bake in preheated oven a few degrees shy of target temperature (testing in center, refer to times below). This should take about 40 – 65 minutes. Time varies based on the doneness you prefer and how thick the steaks are. 2-inch steaks take near the greater time.
  6. Heat skillet: Near the end of steaks baking, begin preheating a cast iron skillet over moderately high heat. It should preheat 5 – 10 minutes (or longer on electric stoves), until pan smokes.
  7. Oil skillet: Once steaks are done baking add 1 Tbsp light olive oil to preheated skillet, use oven mitts to lift pan and swirl oil around to coat bottom evenly.
  8. Brown steaks on first side: Add steaks and sear, and press down on the steaks several places across the top to help achieve a good contact on bottom of steaks (just do this using kitchen tongs from transferring). Only cook briefly just until nicely browned on bottom about 45 – 60 seconds.
  9. Sear opposite side: Turn steaks and sear opposite side until browned about 45 – 60 seconds longer.
  10. Serve warm with sauce: Serve warm as is or with a desired sauce. For a quick buttery finish you can just quickly melt 4 Tbsp butter along with 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic in that hot skillet and serve with that.

Note that no resting period is required after cooking with this reverse sear method because of the low heat it’s cooked at first.

Steak Doneness Temperatures

Rare: 120 – 125 degrees

Medium-rare: 130 – 135

Medium: 140 – 145

Medium-well: 150 – 155

Well: 160 – 165 (not recommend highly overcooked!)

Filet mignon is best cooked just to medium or medium-rare, rare is not recommended for food safety. Note that USDA recommends heating to 145 degrees.

Filet Mignon on a serving plate with red wine sauce.

Sauces for This Filet Mignon Recipe

Garlicky Browned Butter (pictured at top)

  • In a small light colored saucepan melt 6 (1 Tbsp pieces) salted butter over medium-low heat.
  • Once melted add 1 rosemary sprig and 2 smashed garlic cloves.
  • Let cook, stirring frequently until butter has nicely browned.
  • Pour into a dish until ready to use so it doesn’t burn in pan.
  • Remove rosemary and garlic before serving.

Red Wine Reduction Sauce (pictured just below)

  • In a medium saucepan melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion and saute until slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in 2 tsp minced garlic and saute 20 seconds.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in 1 1/2 cups dry red wine, and add 1 rosemary sprig and 1 thyme sprig.
  • Let simmer until reduced by 3/4, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in 3 (1 Tbsp pieces) of butter, one at a time, stirring to melt after each addition. Season sauce with salt to taste.
  • Strain through a sieve into a liquid measuring cup, press on solids with a spatula to extract juices.
  • Cover with foil to keep warm. If needed you can heat briefly over low heat in pan to rewarm.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 8 oz. cremini mushrooms sliced 1/4-inch thick. Saute, only stirring every few minutes, until nicely golden brown, about 9 – 12 minutes.
  • Add in 2 tsp minced garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
  • Pour in 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together 2 tsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp broth and mix into sauce along with 1/2 cup heavy cream, cook briefly just until thickened slightly.
  • Remove from heat, stir in 1/3 cup shredded parmesan. Season sauce with salt as needed and pepper.
  • If desired garnish this sauce with a little minced parsley or thyme.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • Follow link HERE for recipe.

Helpful Tips

  • Let steaks rest at room temperature to take cold chill off.
  • Season liberally with salt and pepper. These are thick steaks.
  • Dry steaks for a beautifully browned exterior.
  • Use a food thermometer (preferably one that monitors temperature the entire time, and only requires one poke so you don’t lose moisture from interior).
  • Finish in a blazing hot skillet of the best browning and use a high smoke point oil.
  • If you want it to hold a rounder shape you can tie two pieces of kitchen twine around circumference of steak (about 1/2-inch apart).

What to Serve with Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon shown on a serving plate with a side of mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

More Incredible Steak Recipes to Try

Filet Mignon

Reverse searing is the technique used here. It is a popular cooking method for filet mignon among chef's and it's what you'll find in many fine dining restaurants. This easy, straightforward method creates hands down one of the most tender steaks you'll ever eat! You should be able to easily slice through it with a butter knife.
Servings: 4
Prep10 minutes
Cook1 hour 10 minutes
Resting1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (8 oz each) filet mignon steaks*
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Let steaks rest at room temperature 1 hour uncovered to help take the cold chill off and dry the exterior.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place an oven safe wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • After steaks have rested, dab dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper and gently press salt and pepper over steak.
  • Transfer steaks to wire rack on baking sheet spacing apart. Insert a oven probe meat thermometer into center of one steak, inserting from the side**.
  • Bake in preheated oven a few degrees shy of target temperature (testing in center, refer to times below). This should take about 40 - 65 minutes. Time varies based on the doneness you prefer and how thick the steaks are. 2-inch steaks take near the greater time.
  • Near the end of steaks baking begin preheating a cast iron skillet over moderately high heat. It should preheat 5 - 10 minutes (or longer on electric stoves), until pan smokes. You want the skillet super hot for the next step and pre-heating it is critical to achieve a nicely seared crust in a small amount of time without over-cooking the steak.
  • Once steaks are done baking add 1 Tbsp light olive oil to preheated skillet, use oven mitts to lift pan and swirl oil around to coat bottom evenly.
  • Add steaks and sear, and press down on the steaks several places across the top to help achieve a good contact on bottom of steaks (just do this using kitchen tongs from transferring). Sear briefly just until nicely browned on bottom about 45 - 60 seconds.
  • Turn steaks and sear opposite side until browned about 45 - 60 seconds longer.
  • Serve warm as is or with a desired sauce (see post above recipe for my favorites).

Notes

  • *Use steaks that are almost the exact same size (all about 1 1/2 inches thick each or all about 2-inches thick each, and all very close in weight) so they bake evenly and finish at the same time. You can also use a peeled 2 lb beef tenderloin and cut into 4 evenly sized steaks.
  • *Recipe can be made using 1 - 6 filet mignon's as long as they are nearly the same size. If using more than 4, or if the 4 you have are fairly long then sear in two batches so skillet isn't overcrowded and they brown nicely.
  • If one of the steaks does happen to be smaller monitor the temp of that one first, then transfer the thermometer to a larger after you've removed the smaller one from the oven.

Steak Doneness Temperatures

Rare: 120- 125 degrees
Medium-rare: 130 - 135
Medium: 140 - 145 
Medium-well: 150 - 155
Well: 160 - 165 (not recommend highly overcooked!)
Filet mignon is best cooked just to medium or medium-rare, rare is not recommended for food safety. Note that USDA recommends heating to 145 degrees.
Nutrition Facts
Filet Mignon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 652 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Fat 53g82%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Cholesterol 159mg53%
Sodium 111mg5%
Potassium 689mg20%
Protein 41g82%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.