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Dec 2, 2012 06:28 AM

Silly question - best way to prepare filet mignon for New Year's Eve

Mrbuffer and I wil be off on New Year's Eve and I'm contemplating doing filet mignon, however, I've never prepared it before.

I've been told to sear in an iron skillet on both sides, then finish in a hot oven. I need times, temps and suggestions.

I plan to make pommes frites with fresh thyme on top, and fresh broccoli spears. I was going to do fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter in the iron skillet while letting the meat rest, then deglazing with sherry and reducing.

Appys are shrimp cocktail and bruschetta made with tomato confit, fresh basil and mozzarella.

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  1. Depends on how thick the cut is. I'd use a cast fry pan. Saute in butter with spring of thyme. Don't have temp too high to burn the butter. Sear on both sides. Tilt pan and continually lap the meat with the butter. It shouldn't take more a a few minutes to fry to rare/medium. Forget the oven idea. You'll risk over cooking the steak. It only takes a couple of minutes to ruin a nice cut of meat. Rest under loose tin foil for at least ten minutes. Steaks should be served warm not searing hot.
    Put the mushrooms in a dry fry pan over low heat. They will release any moisture. Drain. Pat dry. Return to fry pan and then add some butter and a touch of nutmeg. Fry till golden.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Puffin3

      tenting meat only offers an opportunity for condensation which will make any seared crisp on the outside soggy. resting the meat, uncovered, on a board is fine.

      i usually run steaks under the broiler for a 2 minutes or so on each side, then finish in a 450 oven. depending on the weight and thickness of the steak, they really only need a few minutes. the rest will often bring the cooked temp up another 5-10 degrees, so err on the rarer side.

    2. Much depends on how thick your fillet steak is and how cooked you prefer it. My wife is the steak cooking expert and tells me that she cooks it in a ridged frying pan for a couple of minutes each side. And then goes by touch to tell whether it needs a little longer. That'll get you a steak that's around rare to medium rare.

      Be aware that fillet might be the tenderest steak but it's also the least flavoursome, IMO. So we rarely cook it and, when we do, we tend to have simple accompaniments that are not going to fight with it (and win)

      Mushrooms are a great accompaniment to steak. I'd throw in a little garlic and deglaze with red wine, rather than sherry.

      1. My times and temps for filet mignon that is about 2" thick (maybe a bit thicker).

        Let meat rest at room temp about 1 hour
        Salt pepper steaks
        Sear top/bottom in hot pan with thin layer of oil - 3 min per side
        500 degree oven (in same hot pan) for about 10 min
        take meat temp, I take mine out at 130 degrees (after rest it is medium rare in my book)
        rest on plate for 5 min

        I often do them 'au poivre' as well. Crush pepper corns in mortar coarsely, coat the outside surfaces of the steak with the peppercorn (none on the searing/cut sides).

        You can finish with all sorts of pan sauces during the 5 minute rest. My friends' favorite is - mushrooms, shallots, cognac, cream.

        2 Replies
        1. re: thimes

          "mushrooms, shallots, cognac, cream."

          Steak Diane. It's extremely easy and fast. There is a Gordon Ramsay youtube video of him making it that will show you how easy it is. (We just had it again earlier this week, it always pleases.) There's a reason it's a classic. :)

          1. re: weezieduzzit

            Our standard dish for beef fillet is also French - filet de boeuf a la avignonaise. Mrs H fries the fillet as I indicated above. While it rests, a couple of slices of baguette are fried (and soak up some of the pan juice). They come out and a good meausre of brandy goes in and is flamed. Bread on plate, meat on top, brandy and pan juices over everything. Simple and absolutely delicious.