- nice piece of filet mignon (10 - 12 oz.)
- avocado, extra virgin olive oil (something with a high smoke point)
- sea salt and pepper
- cast iron pan (the kind you can whack the entire thing in the oven)
This is the main course dish I made for my wife during Valentine's day the first course being the Mussels. I will add what I made as the second course eventually. :)
First make sure that the filet is close to room temperature before beginning. If your meat was frozen (not recommended) then it should be fully thawed.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Season filet with salt and pepper. Rub it in nicely with your hands and pat it down. Put some love into it.
3. *Lightly* coat the filet with the oil and set it aside.
4. Heat the pan until it's hot hot hot on the stove.
5. Then set the filet on the pan and absolutely do not touch it for 1 minute.
6. Flip it to the other side and do not move it for another minute. You should notice the nice caramelization on the top of the filet.
7. Then place the entire pan into the oven and cook for 2 minutes. Then flip the filet and cook in the oven for another minute.
This usually ends up cooking the meat just the way I like it which is medium to medium rare and warm in the middle. But if you want to make sure you can use a meat thermometer and it should be at 130-140 F (55-60 C) for medium. There is no shame in using a thermometer. In fact, I recommend it for the first few times. Just make sure the tip of the thermometer gets to the center of the meat.
8. IMPORTANT. After you've taken it out of the oven set it out and let the meat rest for about 5 minutes.
You can then serve the filet as is or cut it nicely. For this dish, I cut it into about half inch cuts against the grain (tho with a good piece of filet it shouldn't matter).
I also served this with a red wine reduction:
1. After you've set the meat to rest, pour red wine into the pan with all the good bits and dislodge the goodness with a wooden spoon.
2. I also added a bit of grapeseed oil instead of butter and reduced the wine.
3. Drizzle slightly over the cut up filet.
For this dish I set it with some finger potatoes that were boiled for about 5 minutes and sauteed in butter with broccoli and carrots. I also served a side of wild mushroom sauteed in herb butter (the theme of the dinner was wild mushroom).
Note: Getting a good piece of filet mignon is crucial. The filet I got was about $30 for a 12 oz. It was some crazy Californian grain fed vegetarian cow that probably had a name like Humphrey. The meat literally melted in your mouth.