Slices like butter and tastes like heaven. That is the only way to describe Cast Iron Filet Mignon and honestly, do you need any more info once you've heard that? Doubtful, but I could talk about these steaks all day so don't worry, if you want to know more, just read on.
Here's what you're getting: Delicate, lean, buttery beef, perfectly cooked to your liking, a foolproof guide to choosing the best steaks, and all you need to know to cook them up perfectly.
Fix these for date night in or use them to wow your next guests. They pair perfectly with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and a favorite steak sauce on the side. Or if you're a blue cheese fan, we highly recommend this creamy gorgonzola sauce.
WHAT IS FILET MIGNON
Unlike a hefty-sized Cowboy Steak or a giant grilled Porterhouse, filet mignon is considered the daintiest of beef. This cut isn't about size or big beef flavor; it's about texture. Tender, buttery, and lean, this is as delicate a cut as you can get steak-wise. It's tender, juicy, and can be prepped in a number of different ways.
Today, we'll be combining both the stovetop and the oven for one seriously perfect Cast Iron Filet Mignon.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST FILET
Meat is graded based on marbling (the amount of intermuscular fat) and the age of the animal at slaughter. Age is relevant only because, the older the steer, the more time there is for it to develop intermuscular fat. So, essentially, it all comes down to marbling.
You will find filet mignon selections that fall under Prime, Choice, and Select grades at the grocery store.
These grades indicate which steaks the meat inspectors consider the creme de la creme of beef vs. the lesser prized steers. Prime will have the most marbling and is, therefore, the most expensive, while Select will have the least amount of marbling.
Look for thin streaks of white across the face of your filets. The more marbling, the better. But, that's not all you should consider when it comes to buying your steaks!
The thickness of the filet mignon also matters, especially if you want to cook it to perfection.
This recipe calls for 1 ½ inch- thick filets, that are right around 8-ounces each. Here's why this information matters: a thinner, smaller filet will cook through much, much faster than a thick, 8-ounce filet. If you want to be able to use the suggested cook times within this recipe and yield flawless results, your steak needs to fit the bill in both thickness and weight.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT CAST IRON FILET MIGNON
To prep your steaks for a stellar pan sear, you'll need to remove the excess moisture from the exterior of the steak. To do this grab a handful of paper towels and gently pat the steak all over. Then, set them aside and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
It is important that the Filet Mignon doesC not go into your cast-iron pan ice-cold. This would both affect the steak's ability to properly sear and the cooking time. Allow the steaks to sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, get your oven preheated to 450°F.
After the 20 minutes have passed and your oven is preheated, season the steaks. For the seasoning, all you need is kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle the steaks with a bit of oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Rub all over until the steaks are evenly coated, and set aside.
Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to your now very hot, oven-safe pan, and heat the oil through. Avocado or canola oil is preferable for this recipe, as they have a higher smoke point than olive oil
For a perfectly brown crust, resist the urge to jostle or move the steaks around. The steaks will need to cook for about 3 minutes per side. So, place the steaks in the pan, cook for 3 minutes, flip the steaks and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Then, place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 3 to 7 minutes. How long you cook the Filet Mignon in the oven depends on your desired temperature.
Once the steaks have finished their stint in the oven, remove them from the pan immediately and place them on either a plate or a serving dish. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into pats, and add butter to the top of each steak. Tent with aluminum foil. Allow your steaks to rest for about 10 minutes before serving, then, dig in and enjoy!
FOOL-PROOFING YOUR STEAKS
As mentioned above, there are a lot of things that can affect the temperature of your steak. One is the size and weight of the steak, another is the temperature of the steak when it first hits the skillet, and the third reason for any variance is hot spots in your oven.
Having an instant-read thermometer on hand should be considered a necessity when it comes to cooking expensive cuts of beef, and this Cast Iron Filet Mignon recipe is no exception!
STEAK TEMPS TO KNOW
- Rare | 125°F
- Medium Rare | 135°F
- Medium | 145°F
- Medium Well | 150°F
- Well-Done | 160°F
Keep in mind, that as your steaks are resting they will continue to rise in temperature. So it is best to pull your steak 5° before you hit your desired temperature.
6 MORE BEEFY RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Smoked Texas Brisket
- Steak Pasta
- Steak Fajitas
- Boneless Prime Rib
- Beef Tenderloin
- Fork-Tender Pot Roast
Cast Iron Filet Mignons are the epitome of delicate, lean, and buttery. Simple to make but feel ultra luxurious and indulgent.
- 2 beef filets, 1 ½" thick (about 8-ounces each)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons avocado or canola oil, separated
- 2 tablespoons of butter
Pat the excess moisture away from the fillets using paper towels, set them aside on a work surface, and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to remove the chill. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450°F.
Once the oven is preheated, add Kosher salt and pepper to a small bowl and mix together. Drizzle the steaks with the oil and rub all over. Add half of the seasoning mix to one side of the steaks, gently pat, turn them over, and add the remaining seasoning mix. Rub seasoning all over to adhere.
Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat and allow it to get screaming hot. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and place the steaks down on the skillet. Sear for 3 minutes, without jostling or moving. Turn and sear for 3 minutes more on the other side.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium-rare, 5 minutes for medium, and 6-7 minutes for well-done.
Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the steaks from the skillet to a plate or serving dish. Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, loosely tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.