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Filet Mignon question

Hi there was hoping for some input.

I am not a filet mignon fan, so I have never cooked them at home, (I like fat!!)
but DH has decided that this is his favorite cut, and so I must start doing so.

What is the best method of cooking them?
I have read a bit about searing them, and then finishing them in the oven, but I'm fearful this would dry them out.

What do my fellow chows recommend?

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  1. Using the method you describe, sear, place in oven @ 450* for 10-11 minutes(depending on thickness), but here the secret of not overcooking......make sure the steak is double thickness and treat as a steak for two....do not cook small thin steaks. if you must, reduce time to 50%. My steaks are a minimum of 3.0 inches. Personally, I like to treat as a small filet of beef or Chateaubriand(15-16 minutes). Cook/roast above as I mentioned, and after resting, make nice 3/4 inch slices.....or thicker or thinner as you desire.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      Same I pan sear at high heat with a good salt and pepper crust and then cook to get a good crust on one side and flip, cook another few seconds and transfer to the oven. Cook at 425 for me but my oven runs hot for 8-10 minutes. About 2-3 " steaks at least. Nothing thin. Remove cover to set and make a simple red wine pan sauce, nothing fancy to go on top. I also like a simple blue cheese cream sauce but very little, just a drizzle. A few nice grilled slices of portabellos and onions slices are also great in the pan with the steak in the oven for a great simple side with no work. Serve over the steak and drizzled with the sauce. Easy and quick. A baked potato, some great fillings and so easy but amazing taste.

      I do like a fattier steak at times. But a good fillet to met is classic

    2. I also pan sear them and finish them in the oven. I've been experimenting with pan sauces lately and started a thread on that and received a great response by a lot of folks here.


      I think a pan sauce for this type of cut is nice.

      1. I agree with you 100%, filet fails the flavor test. No fat = no flavor.

        Similar to Fourunders techique, i like to sear the filet first than place in a oven. But i like to use a lot cooler oven, 275ish for 20ish minutes(depending on size of meat). Reason being, in order to cook a tenderloin to get the perfect red throughout i think a cooler over works better. Its six or half a dozen. If the ovens too hot, you can still cook to a perfect med or med-rare, but often you'll get some grey in the meat.
        To add a little flavor, try wrapping with bacon before placing it in the open, but you'll need to cook the filet at a higher temp than 275.

        2 Replies
        1. re: baldwinwood


          My steaks of choice normally are Delmonico/Rib Eye, Portherhouse and New York Strip........and generally, I prefer to cook these cuts to medium-rare temeperature. For Filet Mignon specific, I actually like mine cooked to rare temperature, or more precisely *Black and Blue* or *Pittsburgh* style.....thus the higher heat.

          With the recent chatter on pre-salting steaks for 12 hours and cooking @ 275....I plan to try both at the same time for my next steak adventure.

          1. re: baldwinwood

            My filets are med rare all the way through, perfect and juicy, 425 in the oven for me and a quick pan sear. Been doing in for 20 years. The only steaks my family will eat and only medium rare. If they saw grey, they would not touch them.

          2. i'm sure the tenderloin bashing won't stop, and i'm in the minority, but i've had some wonderful dishes made from tenderloin. tartares, carpaccio, and filet mignon with truffle cream sauce. there's nothing wrong with tenderloin. is it as fatty and flavorful as other cuts? of course not. does it have its place in the culinary universe? you betcha.

            as far as this whole over-used "fat equals flavor" equation, somebody had better tell mint and yams that. they and a bunch of other foodstuffs didn't get the memo.

            1. Thanks everyone for the input!
              I like Mollygirls suggestion the best though!! :)

              I think I'm going to sear them and try the low-oven method...perhaps I'll wrap them with a bit of bacon as well, and I will check out the pans sauces as well!

              CH folks to the rescue! Thanks!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: NellyNel

                i sear them in a cast iron skillet, i first cover in salt and cracked pepper. I finish cooking them in the oven and add a generous pat of butter before putting them in the oven. its also a good opportunity to make a bernaise sauce

                1. re: NellyNel

                  No offense Molly, I think NellyNel you may regret the low oven method. Tried once and never again, TOO well done and not and juicy. Just me.

                  No offense Molly. The bacon is ok, but I am not fond of it for the most part..

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    Don't know why you are apologizing to me! My rec was for DH to learn to cook his own darn steak :-P

                    1. re: kchurchill5

                      That is my concern. I don't want them too well done OR dry....
                      I just spoke to DH - he doesn't want any kind of sauce...he likes the bacon idea.

                      Roast and Sear sounds interesting.
                      I really appreciate all the help. I am an experienced cook, but something as simple as FM is scaring me!

                  2. Cook's Illustrated recommends bringing them to room temperature first (covered in plastic wrap), then putting in a low oven for about 15 minutes to bring up to temp throughout (125 degrees F), with a quick sear in a hot pan with butter to finish. Cover loosely with foil and let sit for about 10 minutes while making a pan sauce to go with.

                    I've tried the sear-then-roast and the low-roast-then-sear methods, and I prefer the roast-then-sear.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: weezycom

                      How'd you roast and sear?
                      Sounds interesting!

                        1. re: weezycom

                          The reverse sear will help maintain an even temperature with less gray under the crust as long as you don't sear too long after the low temp "roasting".

                          1. re: weezycom

                            This looks like an interesting method. I will have to try that next time I make filets.

                          2. I did 25-30 of them at once on the 4th on a Weber Charcoal grill. Right from fridge (I would of rather had them at room temp) I put threm within a couple of inches of a blazing fire of lump charcoal. All charcoal at one end of weber. Turned at 45 degrees after maybe a minute and then flipped over and same on other side. Then I moved to indirect part of weber and continued to cook until my thermapen told me they were close to 119-120 internal, then pulled and rested. They all turned out perfect.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: duck833

                              That does very well as long as you can move to an indirect source for the last few minutes.

                              FYI, last time I made filets I cut mine after resting for 3-4 or more thick slices. This gave people the option to take as much as they wanted. Some wanted more than others. No waste this way

                            2. We usually follow Cook's Ullustrated technique but also prefer them on the grill. Sometime we use a simple black peppercorn and coarse salt rub; we ejoy that on its own or with a cherry port wine sauce.

                              1. Well in the end - I decided to quickly sear them, and I then put them into a 450 degree oven for about 8 minutes, and then rested them for about 8 minutes.
                                They were perfect!
                                Perfectly seared on the outside with a very pink center. I served them with carmelized fresh pearl onions ontop. Juicy and delicious!

                                Thanks for all your input!
                                Next time I do want to try searing them AFTER they are in the oven to see how that works.

                                4 Replies
                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                    Hmm they were thick but not really thick - I am guessing an inch and a half...
                                    I could go for some more right about now!

                                  2. re: NellyNel

                                    Excellent and congrats. To me that is always perfect, but there are always many good ways to eat them. Onions, mushrooms and so many topping are great.

                                    If you get a chance. Now and then I do the same with you some quick sauteed onion and I add a little cream and sherry to make a creamy onion sauce. Just a thought.

                                    But glad they turned out so well.

                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                      Funny - my original plan was to do a creamy onion thing to pour on top, but they started tasting so good as they were... (I sauteed them with butter, a bit of olive oil, sugar and a touch of red wine)
                                      I also made mushrooms and served my DH's steak with both the onions and mushrooms on top; I kept mine seperate!

                                  3. when i was a kid, just about the fanciest meal i could imagine was steak diane. i had no particular notion of how to make it-- other than it included tenderloin and was set on fire. it fell out of fashion along with crepes suzzette and i never tasted it until about two years ago. it actually is quite good and is easy to make. it is an often-forgotten change-up for those who enjoy tenderloin. if you missed as a kid, it is well worth the try. it pretty much demands a 50's style pitcher of martinis--smoking jacket optional.

                                    1. This cognac sauce is my absolute favorite sauce with filet mignon (I grew up near Soulard's). It's worth a try!


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MrsCheese

                                        Cognac sauce is a great sauce. I don't use mushrooms in mine, but a very nice sauce.
                                        Serve with mashed leeks and roasted potatoes.
                                        Roast the leeks, onion and red potatoes until brown. Then mash with some cream, butter, s/p. Perfect rustic mashed.

                                        Steak couldn't get much better.

                                        1. re: MrsCheese

                                          aw, c'mon. where's the fun if you don't start the whole thing on fire. see post above on steak diane.

                                        2. You said you had inch and a half steaks . . . for these you could sear both sides in a nice cast iron pan, then use a cover over the meat- but DO NOT let it cover tightly . . . prop it up with a wooden spoon or something and allow the steam to escape as it finishes cooking on the stovetop over a lower flame. This works perfectly for thiner steaks like yours . . . would be tough for a three incher though!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                            firing up the oven in winter is always a pleasure . . . thought NellyNel might like some other option for summer heat spells:-) If I'm dealing with a 2 inch steak or less, I always finish it on the stove top in the summer time.