Ever wondered how to cook filet mignon from scratch at home?
I'm sharing a recipe, instructional video and easy-to-follow process shots so that you can make filet mignon for dinner tonight!
Prepare your own gourmet filet steak in 20 minutes or less for date night and that includes a tasty sauce.
What is a filet mignon?
In North American cuisine, the filet mignon is a cut of beef tenderloin at the thinnest point of the meat.
A filet mignon in France is a pork tenderloin and has nothing to do with this recipe today. Although the name filet mignon is french.
In France, a filet mignon is called a filet de boeuf.
This is what confused me and my mother years ago because we would call our pork filet a filet mignon at home.
Glad we cleared that up. uff!
A filet mignon steak is about 1 to 2 inches/ 2.5 to 5 cm thick.
Filet Mignon vs Tenderloin
Tenderloin is the innermost tender meat cut of a cow and it's also one of the most preferred cuts.
The filet mignon is a part of the tenderloin.
It's basically the smaller end cut of tenderloin.
Ironically you often see regular tenderloin cuts sold as filet mignon in grocery stores and restaurants.
Filet mignon is the most tender part of the tenderloin, yet if you can't get a filet mignon cut, just use a quality tenderloin meat cut to make this dish.
I'm not going to forbid you that... and everyone should decide that for themselves.
How to cook it?
This is the best way to cook a tender filet mignon because the meat turns out juicy and it cooks faster.
We will mainly focus on this approach.
That means searing the filet mignon steak first in the pan and then finishing the cooking process in the oven.
The pan gives the steak a crunchier layer and the oven cooks it juicy.
Pat dry your cut filet mignon steak with a kitchen towel.
Season your steak with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Heat up a pan with oil and wait for it until it's hot and almost smoking.
Place your herbs and the fillet mignon into the pan and sear them over high heat.
Sear on both sides so that the steaks get some colors.
Place the filet steaks into an oven dish and roast in the oven until you are satisfied with the doneness.
Use a food thermometer to find out about the temperature in the steak so that you can cook it rare, medium-rare or well done.
The red wine reduction sauce is optional and is prepared in the same pan.
For more details on how to make the sauce see the recipe card with the video.
You need to consider 3 things for the cooking time when searing your filet steak in a pan and in the oven
- The thickness of your steak - mine are 1 inch thick
- Steak temperature - fridge cold or room temperature
- The heat of the pan when you started to sear the meat.
A 1-inch, room temperature filet mignon cooked on high heat over the stove and in then in the oven takes about 12 minutes from start to finish to cook through to medium.
Cook it 1-2 minutes less for a rare or medium-rare steak
Cook it 2-3 minutes more for a medium-well and well-done steak.
A 1 ½ inch or 2-inch thick filet mignon steak will take longer so I recommend that you use a meat thermometer to measure the inner temperature of your fillet steak.
How to cook it in the oven only?
You can also cook filet mignon in the oven only.
This is great if you don't want to make too many dishes dirty.
The cons are that the meat will take longer to cook through and that you won't get the perfect outer sear that you would get with searing your steak first in a pan.
To cook filet mignon in the oven, simply place the seasoned steaks into a baking dish and cook until they are done to your expectations.
This can take about 30 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit/180 Celsius and I recommend using a food thermometer to know if the steak is rare, medium-rare or well done on the inside.
I believe the best way to season your filet mignon is with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Both go hand in hand and bring out all the gorgeous steak juices that we love.
The average price for a quality filet mignon steak per piece is about 10$ or 9€. The filet mignon tenderloin part is the most tender meat and this is why it's the most expensive cut as well. Hence why your filet mignon dinner meal is a special occasion (or so do we feel at home)
Some folks say that a filet mignon should be served without sauce. Yeah maybe in your country, but that's not the norm everywhere. Besides a sauce can make your steak all the more special. I like to also serve my filet mignon with a Bearnaise sauce or simply a mushroom gravy.
I thought I would add this because I want you to succeed when you prepare your own filet mignon!
Let's face it, this meat cut is expensive and it's tender so it can burn easily on a stove that heats up faster than it's supposed to.
I almost burned a filet mignon once because I cooked it in a cast iron on a friend's electric stovetop and nobody wants to waste such a gorgeous meat cut, right?
I recommend for beginners to test cook a cheaper steak cut (such as sirloin) first so that you understand the way your stove and pan heat up.
These days I tend to use non-stick PFOA- and BPA-free pans, and those are helpful if you are not yet as experienced with cast iron or steel skillets.
The moment you understand how fast your pan gets hot, you can move on and prepare filet mignon for date night!
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How to cook a filet Mignon with a Sauce
For the Filet Mignon Steak
For the Sauce (optional)*
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Red Wine
- 1 cup Stock
- 2 Tablespoon Whiskey Bourbon, Brandy or Cognac
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Cream
For the Filet Mignon Steak:
- Pat dry your cut filet pieces. Season with salt, black pepper and onion powder on both sides.
- Heat up your pan with olive oil. The oil needs to get super hot, almost to smoking point (but don't let it smoke because that wouldn't be healthy).
- Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit/ 200° Celsius.
- Place your herbs into the hot pan and the filet mignon. Sear meat steaks over high heat for 2-3 minutes until they get some color.
- Turn the meat and sear the other side the same way. Add the butter to the pan.
- Take the meat from the pan and place it into an oven-safe dish. Finish cooking and roast at 400° Fahrenheit/ 200° Celsius. Cook to desired doneness, check with meat thermometer inner temperature of the meat to help you determine doneness. (see in post for more info)
For the Sauce (optional):
- While the meat is cooking in the oven, heat up the same pan from earlier again with the herbs in it. Add butter and allow to melt completely.
- Keep on medium to low heat and add all-purpose flour. Combine flour and butter over the heat to a smooth paste-like texture.
- Deglaze with the wine, mix and reduce a bit over medium heat.
- Pour in stock and whiskey and combine. Reduce your sauce a bit again until it gets a bit thicker.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Pour in cream to complete the sauce. Combine all ingredients over medium heat to a smooth sauce.
- Pick out the herb sprigs and discard.
- Serve hot sauce over steak with another side dish like green beans or potatoes.
- The filet mignon can be 1 to 2 inch thick. We like our 1 inch because we don't like a bloody steak in the centre. If you are cooking filet mignon for the first time, it is easier to start out with 1 inch.
- Use fresh herb sprigs like thyme, rosemary and savory. You can use whichever you like. If you can't get fresh herbs, then use one of these three as dried herbs for this dish.
- The sauce is optional. I love to serve up this wine reduction sauce with the filet. It tastes great and won't take up much of your time.