How to Cook a Filet Mignon Using a Frying Pan and Oven
- 1 pound Filet, butcher cut into two 8 oz cuts
- 4 Tbsp Garlic Herb Butter
- Peanut Oil (Ground Nut Oil)
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
Take the meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and pat dry with a paper towel. You don’t want excess blood in the pan when cooking. Use a generous amount of salt and pepper to each side. Pat the salt and pepper into the steak a little bit on both sides and let the steaks sit for 30 minutes. You may want to cover the steaks with a paper towel just so dust, hair, or other little particles don’t land on them. The steaks need to get to room temperature for them to cook properly.
Preheat the oven to 450 F while you wait for the steaks to reach room temperature. Make sure the oven is fully preheated before going to the next step.
- Turn the stove on to the highest setting. For those using a coil stove, turn the dial just a little below the highest setting (I’ve had bad experiences with my coil stove not fluctuating the amount of heat when set to the highest setting. The coil continued to get hotter and hotter, eventually turning white from the climbing temperature. The oil in the pan lit on fire immediately and a mess was made). When the pan is nice and hot, pour a generous amount of peanut oil into the pan. You want to make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered, but not so much that the steaks are drowning in oil. About ¼ an inch is good. You can of course pour the oil into the pan first and then heat up the pan. You’ll know everything is ready to go if when you tilt the pan the oil runs like water.
- Place both steaks into the oil carefully (oil will splash, be careful). Let the steaks sear for about 3 minutes on the first side, then lift the steaks and sear the edge all around for just a few seconds on each “edge”. I usually pretend like there are four edges to the steak; picture it as a square even if it’s round. Once all the edge are seared lightly, place the steaks on their un-seared sides. At this point, add 2 Tbsp of the Garlic Herb butter to the pan. Again, let the steaks sear for 3 minutes. As the steaks sear for 3 minutes, constantly baste the steaks with the oil/butter mixture that is now in the pan. Use a long spoon if you have one to avoid popping oil. Tilt the pan slightly to create a pool of the oil/butter mixture for easier spooning.
- After the 4 minutes is up, flip the steaks back to the original side that you started on and place 1 Tbsp of butter on top of each steak and then immediately place the whole pan in the oven. The oven should have already been preheated to 450 degrees F. Close the oven and let the steaks cook. Check the steaks periodically for doneness. Use a thermometer or the “palm doneness technique” (see image below) to figure out when the steak has reached the doneness you desire. I avoid using an amount of time at this point in the cooking process, because everyone’s oven is different, the racks are in different positions, the pans are of different quality and retain heat differently, steaks vary in thickness, etc. There are too many variables to definitively give an amount of time. You’ll just have to keep an eye on it.
- Once the steaks are ALMOST to the point you want them, take them out of the oven, perform one final baste and place them on a plate. The steaks will continue to cook a little bit, so it’s important to pull them out just a little bit before they get to the doneness you want. Leave the oven on just in case the steak isn’t cooked the way you want it. Under Cooking a steak is fine, as it can just be popped back into the oven to finish, but overcooking a steak is a done deal. So always, always, always pull the steaks out before they’re done the way you want them. I can’t stress that enough. And that’s it! Add some mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side, and you have a fancy, gourmet, steakhouse meal.
© 2016 Blake J Rudy