Cooking filet mignon in the oven is an easy way to make a tender steak. While you do cook the filet in the oven, it's a bit of a misnomer. In general, it's best to sear the filet on the outside and then finish it in the oven.
Searing the Steak
Searing the steak is an essential part of cooking a filet mignon, because pan-searing caramelizes the outside of the meat, which adds tremendous flavor. Likewise, searing in a pan also leaves flavorful bits in the pan that serves as a basis for a tasty pan sauce. While most people sear at the beginning of the cooking process, you can also sear at the end. In fact, this is the method Cooks Illustrated recommends, noting that searing last creates a dish most similar to those found in a really good restaurant filet.
Searing After Oven Baking
This is the method for searing the filet at the end, and it couldn't be simpler. The recipe serves two.
- Two 1 1/2-inch thick filets
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- Take the filets out of the refrigerator about one hour before cooking to allow them to come up to room temperature.
- Place the filets on a baking sheet lined with a rack. Season the filets liberally on both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the steaks to the oven. Roast until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit (for medium-rare), 20 to 30 minutes. The steak will come to temperature as you sear it.
- Preheat the oil or butter in a cast-iron pan on medium-high heat until it bubbles. Add the steaks. Cook for two minutes per side without moving the steaks. Using tongs, hold the steak on its side to sear the edges, about one minute more per edge.
- Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Oven-Finished Filet Mignon With Sauce
You will need one 1 1/2-inch thick filet mignon per person. This recipe serves two.
- Two 1 1/2-inch thick filet mignons at room temperature
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 strips of bacon
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 pound of button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 2 cups of red wine
- 2 tablespoons of butter, divided
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper.
- Wrap one strip of bacon around each filet mignon securing it with a toothpick.
- Place an oven-proof saute pan over a medium-high flame.
- Add the oil to the pan.
- Once the pan is very hot, add the steaks to the pan and do not move them for 3 minutes.
- Flip the steaks over and continue to cook them for 3 minutes.
- Place the pan in the oven and let the steaks finish cooking for 4-6 minutes for a rare steak or 6-8 minutes for medium-rare steaks.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and place the pan over a medium flame.
- Remove the steaks from the pan and put them on a plate; loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the garlic to the pan after removing the steaks. Cook, stirring, just until it is fragrant - about 30 seconds. Do not overcook the garlic or it may burn.
- Add the wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to remove the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until they give up their liquid.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and reduce the liquid to half.
- Add the other tablespoon of butter and stir until the butter has melted and fully mixed in with the sauce.
- Place the steaks on a plate each and pour the sauce over the steaks.
- Once you become comfortable with making this sauce, you can experiment with adding cream, using brandy, or any other ingredient you think will work well with steak.
The Perfect Steak
In order to make the most of a filet mignon, you will need to allow it to spend a few minutes on the stovetop so the outside can develop a flavorful browning that adds tremendous flavor. However, with these simple methods, it's easy to make the perfect steak every time.