Filet mignon is the most expensive form of beef, but it is also the most tender. The best filet mignon is cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin and in some parts of the world only these smaller steaks are sold as filet mignon, although the whole tenderloin may be used in the US. To get the best filet mignon ask for a potion cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin. You should also look for filet mignon portions that are lighter in color as this indicates more marbling and a more tender steak. Filet mignon is sometimes called tenderloin steak or medallions.
Filet Mignon Butter or cooking oil such as olive, peanut or grape seed oil Seasoning
If you have bought the tenderloin whole, cut it into portions between 1 and 2 inches thick.
Allow the steaks to reach room temperature before you begin to cook to ensure they cook evenly.
Season the filet mignon steaks. For a simple taste just add salt and pepper, but you can also add your preferred herbs if you wish. Rosemary and garlic are often used to add flavor to filet mignon.
Coat the bottom of a frying pan with butter or cooking oil. Heat the oil until it is almost smoking, but do not allow it to become too hot.
Place the filet mignon steaks into the pan, making sure they are properly coated with oil. Shake the pan or push the steaks around it in order to prevent them from sticking. You should place the steaks with the most attractive or presentation side down. This is the side that will be uppermost when you serve the steaks. Cooking the presentation side first will ensure that it is properly browned, as the pan will be at its hottest when you add the meat.
Once the presentation side is browned, turn the filet mignon steaks over and brown the other side. It should only take a few minutes to sear the meat.
When both sides of the filet mignon steaks have been browned, place them in an ovenproof pan. If your frying pan is ovenproof then you can leave them in the same pan.
If you are entertaining guests then you can prepare the filet mignon steaks up to this point and then set them aside until it is time to oven cook them. This will allow you to spend more time with your guests rather than having to stand over the frying pan in the kitchen.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the pan containing the browned filet mignon steaks in the oven. Bake until the steaks are cooked all the way through.
If you have a thermometer, then check that the temperature inside the steaks to determine when they are ready. For rare meat heat the steaks to between 120 and 125 degrees, for medium meat heat them to between 140 and 150 degrees and for well-done meat, between 160 and 170 degrees. Otherwise, judge the readiness of the steaks by their color. It should take between four and ten minutes to bake the steaks, according to how well-done you want them.
Take care not to overcook the meat otherwise the filet mignon steaks will not be as tender as they should be.
The filet mignon steaks can be wrapped in bacon before they are cooked in order to ensure that the meat remains moist and tender.