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Filet Mignon

August 13th  is National Filet Mignon Day, and in honor of this excellent steak, we decided to present an enticing, easy-to-follow recipe.

Filet Mignon

The star of this recipe is the steak, but we added in a touch of something special to enhance its flavor–Rosemary.

Let’s start with a bit of background on this unique seasoning.

Rosemary

This is a plant that provides a special and unique flavoring. Rosemary is a small evergreen plant with linear leaves that are 0.4 inches long and resemble small curved pine needles.

The leaves have a pungent, slightly bitter taste and are generally used (dried or fresh) to season food. It is a star of Mediterranean cooking.

In this case, it will provide a nice flavor to our Filet Mignon, but we want to stress again that the star of this show is the Filet Mignon.

Filet Mignon Fun Facts

  • This cut is from the small end of the tenderloin. The area is non-weight bearing and not toughened by exercise or use, resulting in incredibly tender meat.
  • The name is French for “cute filet” with “filet” meaning thick, boneless slice, and mignon meaning “dainty.”
  • O. Henry (pen name of William Sydney Porter) was the first to use the term “filet mignon” in his book ‘The Four Million’ in 1906.
  • Traditionally, filet mignon is seared on each side using intense heat for a short time and then transferred to a lower temperature to cook the meat all the way through.
  • Filet Mignon is often served rarer than other meats. Those who prefer a more well-done steak can request a “butterflied” filet, meaning that meat is cut down the middle and opened up to expose more of the meat to heat during the cooking process.
  • August 13th is National Filet Mignon Day.

Before we get started with our recipe for Filet Mignon, we want to cover some common mistakes people make when cooking a steak.

Mistakes to Avoid

1. Cooking the steak straight from the fridge.

Even though cooking steak at home is easy, there is more to it than tossing it straight from the fridge into a hot skillet or oven. Cooking a cold steak can quickly result in uneven cooking, with a well-cooked outside and an undercooked center. This is something to avoid.

2. Not Seasoning the Steak with Salt First

Seasoning with salt is one of those steps that falls into the bucket of small effort, big reward. It does not matter if you are cooking a filet or a fatty, full-flavored rib eye—failing to season the meat with salt does a disservice to both the flavor and the texture of the meat.

3. Adding Pepper Too Soon

While we are all for adding ground pepper or steak seasoning to the meat, it is best not to add it to the steak along with the salt before cooking. When added too soon, certain spices can be quick to burn in a hot skillet before they have a chance to flavor the meat.

4. Keeping the Heat Too Low

No matter how you like your steak cooked always go for a deep sear. Let an excellent crust form around the outside. You may think that the heat is too high, but high heat is the proper way to create a nice sear.

OK, we are now ready to present you with a super way to cook Filet Mignon. You will be pleased with how easy this wonderful meal is to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-oz.) Filet Mignon steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. roughly chopped Rosemary

Choose A Quality Beef Tenderloin

A visit to the butcher is a good idea, as beef tenderloin is expensive. Your butcher will ensure a proper cut is selected. Don’t worry too much about the cost. When cooking at home, the cost is low when you compare it to the price at a restaurant. You could see a price of over $50 at a high-end steakhouse. If you think about it, cooking filet mignon at home costs about the same as a burger at a casual sit-down restaurant.

Trim the Edges

Beef tenderloin is naturally lean, but it often comes with a layer of connective tissue along the edges. Make sure to cut this off for the best texture.

Season Liberally

Do not be afraid to season your steak liberally with salt. Use pepper too, but add this later towards the end. No other seasonings are necessary, though sometimes a distinctive flavor can be used, such as garlic or rosemary. If there’s one thing to know about cooking Filet Mignon, it’s that the meat is the star.

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season steak with salt on both sides. When the oil is just about to smoke, add the Fillet Mignon steak. Cook until very seared, about 5 minutes, then flip and add butter, pepper, and Rosemary.

Baste with butter and cook another 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook until your liking, about 5 minutes for medium.

Pro tip: Check the temperature of your meat before transferring to the oven to see how far you are from the desired temperature. If you are within 10 degrees, you may need even less time.

If your steak is not done after 5 minutes, check every couple of minutes so you don’t risk overcooking.

Remove from pan and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

How Long To Cook In The Oven?

Use a meat thermometer to test your Filet Mignon for doneness. Do not cut it open to check!

The following is a guide for how long to cook filet mignon in the oven:

  • Rare – 125°F (~5 minutes for a 2″ thick steak)
  • Medium Rare – 130°F (~6 minutes for a 2″ thick steak)
  • Medium – 140°F (~7 minutes for a 2″ thick steak)
  • Medium Well – 155°F (~8 minutes for a 2″ thick steak)

Tip: The meat temperature will rise another five degrees as it rests. The guidelines above are the temperature that the steak should be when you take it out of the oven, before resting.

Let It Rest

You may be tempted to cut into your steak immediately after cooking, but don’t do it! All the juices will spill out onto the plate, and you will end up with a steak that is dryer than it needs to be. By letting the steak “rest,” the juices will re-absorb into the meat. This makes the steak extra juicy.

Keep it Simple

A perfect Filet Mignon recipe features a steak that stands out on its own! You don’t need to douse it in steak sauce, or anything else for that matter.

Bon Appetit from the KBC Kitchen!

Toi Renee Patterson

Toi Renee Patterson is the Marketing and Advertising Coordinator for Kitchen & Bath Creations in Columbia, Maryland. Toi is ecstatic with her role at KBC because of the value the company places on its employees and their shared interest in design esthetics. She loves all things related to home design, and functional kitchens in particular. For the past 30 years, Toi has been providing businesses with marketing and administrative support and has enjoyed being involved in many successes. An HGTV fanatic and “wanna-be-designer,” she now has the best of both worlds. With the help of the KBC Team (experienced professional designers), Toi will be sharing ideas that can easily be incorporated into your own home, from clever storage solutions, to “must-have” kitchen accessories, to incredibly tasty and easy-to-make recipes, and more.

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