Filet Mignon

May 30, 2011 § 2 Comments



I think this is a wonderful (much less expensive) way of having a delicious steak dinner for the family. It’s definitely not cheap (at $20.00 per pound, beef tenderloin can be a bit pricey), but when comparing against the alternative ($50.00 pp at a decent steakhouse not including drinks), it’s a bargain!

After purchasing my groceries, I stopped by my local liquor store to pick up a bottle of relatively inexpensive wine. With the highest of hopes (and expectations of disappointment), I asked if they had any bottles of Negroamaro, a red wine that I had tried a few months ago that I really loved.  To my utter DELIGHT, they had it and it was priced so well at $13.00 a bottle! It was the perfect wine selection for my upcoming steak dinner. And as a complete cherry topping to my negroamaro-find-pie, I ran into a dear friend from college and his lovely girlfriend while checking out. (HI ALEX AND CRYSTAL!)

Beef tenderloin roast – 3.41 lbs – $68.00

Mushrooms – $5.00

Gruyere cheese – $6.00

1 Negroamaro + 1 Cabernet Sauvignon – $27.00

=$106.00 Total for 6-7 people (~$18 pp)

Without further ado, my notes:

1. Cast-iron skillet – a MUST. They are pretty affordable and super versatile, and they are a must for creating the PERFECT home-cooked steak. They are able to retain screaming-high heat to form the perfect crust and sear on steaks, as well as cooking them evenly and perfectly. I HIGHLY recommend investing in one.

2. Do not touch, move, peek, breathe on the steak once you set it on the skillet. Just leave it alone for 3-4 minutes, or however long you leave it on depending on how you like your steak. Moving it will destroy your ability to have the perfect crust.

3. I know some people like to use butter or vegetable oil, and I think any type of fat/oil works. I happened to have some extra virgin olive oil on hand, so I used that. Filet mignon is an extremely lean cut of meat that has almost zero fat, so I think adding a little oil is fine.

4. I know no one intentionally means to over-cook steak, but try REALLY hard not to overcook filet mignon. Since it’s so lean, any type of cooking past medium can make the steak super-dry and tasteless, so even if you are usually a medium-person, the tenderness of the filet mignon warrants a medium-rare.  Just my opinion…and if you are dead set of well-done or medium-well steaks, this filet mignon might not be the best choice for you. The last picture I posted is of a medium steak, which was the MOST I recommend cooking with the filet retaining the most wonderful texture and flavor. Cooking steak on a cast-iron skillet also imparts really good flavor.

5. Please feel free to use any kind of steak sauce you want.  I am a meat-purist for this so salt and pepper was perfect for me, but you can definitely use whatever you’d like!

6. VERY IMPORTANT – make sure your steak is at room temperature before throwing on the skillet. If this means your dinner party starts 20 minutes later than planned, it’s okay. This is essential.

Stephanie’s Filet Mignon with Mushrooms and Onions

3-4 lb beef tenderloin roast, cut into 1 1/4 inch slices, brought to room temperature

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 quart of mushrooms, sliced

3 small onions or 1 large onion, sliced thinly

salt and pepper to taste


1. Slice tenderloin into 1 1/4 inch – 1 1/2 inch slices, depending on how thick you’d like your steak. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper semi-liberally, and set aside to come to room temperature.

2. Slice onions and mushrooms.

3. Heat butter in a pan on medium heat and add the garlic.  Stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the onions.  Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Don’t brown them.

4. Add mushrooms and stir gently, and turn up the heat to about medium high. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and taste.  Add more seasoning if you’d like. Cook for about 4 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.  Turn off the heat.

5. Heat your cast-iron skillet on HIGH. Turn on your oven fan, because it’s about to get very smoky in your kitchen!

6. After about 4-5 minutes, your skillet should be super crazy hot.  Now is the time to add your steaks. Once you put them on, DO NOT TOUCH THEM AT ALL! Don’t peek.

For rare: Cook 3 1/2 -minutes per side

For medium-rare: Cook 4  minutes per side

For medium: Cook 4 1/2 – 5 minutes per side.

7. Flip once and then cook for equal amount of time. I have found that I don’t need to put them into the oven since they’re not that thick and the heat from both sides cooks them perfectly.

8. Plate with mushrooms and onions, and ENJOY! Mmmm….



§ 2 Responses to Filet Mignon

  • amy says:


  • Sean Yoon says:

    hey steph,

    i totally agree with the cast iron – must have for steaks.

    one thing i do is pat dry the steak before seasoning to help browning.

    i use butter cuz it has a high smoking point and i just like the taste of butter. some fattier cuts don’t need any added fat. but olive oil has a pretty low smoking point no?

    in any case, the pictures look delicious ^^

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