Pan seared filet mignon is one of those dishes that is beyond famous, which can make some home cooks feel threatened and scared to even try. Plus, it’s really expensive, one of the most expensive cuts of meat that exist, and no one wants to mess that up. The good news, as it turns out, is that this is probably one of the easiest steaks, or even entrees, that you can prepare for yourself or your guests.
When buying your steaks, you’ll want to make sure each one is about the same thickness, as this ensures that everything will be finished at the same time. I prefer about 1 1/2 inches thick myself, maybe 2″, but much beyond that and you are just showing off!
Which Beef To Choose
I don’t prepare pan seared Filet Mignons very often, but when I do, I make sure to choose the best looking steaks I can find. If I am going to spend this kind of money on a dinner, I don’t want to be disappointed with the quality of the meat. So splurge a little and move up a grade if you can, definitely don’t buy anything below U.S. Choice for this recipe. U.S. Prime would be even better if you can swing it.
Oh yeah, one more thing, you’ll want to make sure you don’t invite anyone over who likes their steaks medium well when these are on the menu!
Another decision I make is to really know where my steaks are coming from. I no longer allow myself to buy beef tenderloin from cows that have been raised in over-crowded and inhumane conditions, such as those that come from CAFOs or Concentrated Animal Farming Operations.
With a little effort, and a little extra out of your pocket book, you should be able to find quality filets that you can feel good about eating, after all beef is delicious and has quite a few healthy benefits!
Grass Fed Beef
Of course, if we are going to discuss eating beef, I need to at least address grass fed steak, as opposed to the more abundant grain fed steaks available in most supermarkets. Grass fed, and finished, steaks are more beneficial to your health, but even more expensive than the highest rated grain fed beef. In addition, if you used to eating conventional beef, it may take a while to get used to the gamier leaner taste of grass fed beef.
And this is where it becomes important to know where your meat is coming from. Grass fed? Does that mean that for a day or two it ate grass, and then grain for the rest of its life? Or maybe you’re looking for grass fed and finished? And some grocery stores sell beef that started out on grass and then finished on grain to fatten them up.
Make your moral and dietary considerations and then buy your filet mignon accordingly.
Once upon a time, I used to cook my beef in some kind of vegetable oil when making this filet mignon recipe, but no longer, I don’t use canola oil any more. Read up a little bit on how modern vegetable oils are made, and how detrimental they are to your health, and you will likely make the same decision. Once canola oil left my pantry, I started cooking this pan seared filet mignon recipe in my enamel cast iron pan with a little avocado oil and butter which can take the high heat demanded by this recipe.
Pan Seared Filet Mignon
- cast iron skillet
- 2 6 oz beef filet mignon one for each person
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp high temp cooking oil
- Remove filets from fridge and season to taste with salt and pepper, let come to room temperature
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- About 15-20 minutes before cooking filets, place cast iron skillet into oven
- Remove hot pan from oven, place on burner over medium high heat, add some cooking oil, I typically use a little avocado oil plus butter
- Once butter has melted, place steaks into sizzling hot pan and let sit for 7-8 minute, until it develops a nice brown crust
- Turn steaks over and place pan into oven, using a glove or towel, for another approx. 7 or so minutes
- For medium rare Filet Mignon, remove steaks from oven when internal temperature reaches about 120 degrees, they will rise a few more degrees after taking them out of the oven