Introduction: Cooking Filet Mignon on Stovetop
Filet Mignon is a premium cut of beef that is known for its tender texture and rich flavor. It is a favorite among steak lovers, but cooking it properly can be intimidating for some. Luckily, cooking filet mignon on stovetop is a simple and easy way to get restaurant-quality results in the comfort of your own home.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps of cooking filet mignon on stovetop. From preparing the steak to seasoning it and choosing the right pan, to searing it to perfection and checking the temperature, we will cover everything you need to know to cook a mouth-watering filet mignon that will impress your guests.
Preparing the Filet Mignon
Before cooking your filet mignon, it is essential to prepare it properly. Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least half an hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature. This will ensure that it cooks evenly.
Pat the steak dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Trimming the filet mignon of any excess fat is optional but recommended for a better sear. If desired, you can also tie the steak with a butcher’s twine to help it keep its shape during cooking.
Seasoning the Filet Mignon
Seasoning is an essential step in cooking filet mignon on stovetop. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is often enough to bring out the natural flavors of the steak. Rub the seasoning generously on both sides of the steak, using your hands to ensure that it is evenly distributed.
For an extra touch of flavor, you can also add garlic, herbs, or spices to the seasoning mix. However, be careful not to overpower the natural flavor of the steak.
Choosing the Right Pan for Stovetop Cooking
Choosing the right pan for stovetop cooking is crucial to achieving the perfect sear on your filet mignon. A heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan, such as a cast-iron skillet or a stainless-steel pan, is recommended for stovetop cooking.
Avoid using a non-stick pan as it may not be able to handle the high heat required for searing the steak. Additionally, a non-stick pan may not develop the fond, or brown bits on the bottom of the pan, that are essential for making a delicious pan sauce.
Heating the Pan for Stovetop Cooking
Before searing the filet mignon, it is crucial to heat the pan properly. Preheat the pan on high heat for at least five minutes to ensure that it is hot enough to sear the steak. The pan should be so hot that it starts to smoke slightly.
It is essential to use a high smoke point oil, such as vegetable oil or canola oil, to avoid burning the oil and creating an unpleasant flavor. Add enough oil to the pan to coat the bottom, and wait until it is shimmering before adding the steak.
Searing the Filet Mignon on Stovetop
Searing the filet mignon is the most crucial step in cooking it on stovetop. Place the steak in the hot pan, and let it sear undisturbed for about 2-3 minutes. Use tongs to flip the steak over and sear the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
For a perfect crust, resist the urge to move the steak around the pan or to press it down with a spatula. Doing so will prevent the steak from developing a nice sear.
Turning the Filet Mignon on Stovetop
After searing both sides of the steak, you can continue cooking it on the stovetop or finish it in the oven. If you choose to finish it in the oven, use oven mitts to transfer the pan to a preheated oven at 400°F (205°C) and cook it for 5-7 minutes for medium-rare or longer depending on your desired level of doneness.
If you prefer to cook the steak entirely on the stovetop, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking it for several minutes on each side until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
Checking the Temperature of the Filet Mignon
To ensure that your filet mignon is cooked to your desired level of doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium-rare, the temperature should reach 130°F (54°C), while 140°F (60°C) is ideal for medium and 150°F (65°C) for medium-well.
Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding any bones or fat. To prevent the loss of juices, let the steak rest for a few minutes before cutting into it.
Resting the Filet Mignon Before Serving
Allowing the steak to rest for a few minutes before serving is crucial as it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy steak. Place the steak on a cutting board and tent it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing.
Serving the Perfectly Cooked Filet Mignon
After resting, slice the filet mignon against the grain, and serve it with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a salad. If desired, you can also make a simple pan sauce by deglazing the pan with some red wine or beef broth and adding some butter and herbs.
Cooking filet mignon on stovetop may seem intimidating at first, but by following these simple steps, you can achieve a delicious and juicy steak that will impress your guests. With the right preparation, seasoning, and cooking technique, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality filet mignon in the comfort of your own home.