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We know that there’s nothing quite like a perfectly cooked filet mignon. This classic cut of beef is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. However, it can be intimidating to try cooking it at home. With the right technique and a few insider tips, though, you can achieve a restaurant-quality filet mignon in the comfort of your own kitchen. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting and preparing the meat, seasoning and cooking it to perfection, and serving it up for a delicious and impressive meal.
Choosing the Right Cut of Meat
When it comes to filet mignon, the cut of meat you choose is key. Look for a piece of meat that’s evenly sized and shaped, with a consistent thickness throughout. Ideally, you want a filet that’s about 2 inches thick. You’ll also want to look for a cut that’s well-marbled, with small streaks of fat throughout the meat. This fat will help to keep the filet moist and tender as it cooks.
Preparing the Meat
Before you cook your filet mignon, you’ll need to let it come to room temperature. Take the meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to cook it, and let it sit on the counter. This will help to ensure that the steak cooks evenly.
Seasoning the Filet Mignon
One of the best things about filet mignon is its natural flavor, so you don’t need to go overboard with the seasoning. Keep it simple with just a few ingredients. Start by seasoning the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you like, you can also add a little minced garlic or chopped herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, for additional flavor.
Cooking the Filet Mignon
There are several different ways to cook filet mignon, including grilling, broiling, and pan-searing. Whichever method you choose, the key is to cook the steak until it reaches the desired internal temperature. For a medium-rare steak, you’ll want to cook the filet until it reaches an internal temperature of 130-135°F. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.
Resting and Serving the Filet Mignon
Once your filet mignon is cooked to perfection, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy steak. Tent the steak with foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Then, slice it against the grain and serve it up with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.
Grilling the Filet Mignon:
Now that you have the perfect seasoning and temperature for your filet mignon, it’s time to get grilling! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush your grill grates with a high smoke point oil such as canola or vegetable oil.
For about 4-5 minutes on each side, rotating the filets 90 degrees halfway through each side to get those coveted grill marks. Use tongs to flip the filets and avoid piercing them with a fork or spatula, which could release juices and lead to a dry steak.
To achieve the perfect internal temperature for your filet mignon, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak. For rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium-rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium, cook until the internal temperature reaches 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you’ve reached your desired internal temperature, remove the filet mignon from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak and makes for a more tender and juicy bite.
Filet mignon is a versatile cut of meat that can be paired with a variety of sides and sauces. Here are a few suggestions to elevate your meal:
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce: Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter until softened, then add heavy cream and a splash of red wine. Let simmer until the sauce has thickened, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roast a mix of vegetables such as asparagus, bell peppers, and zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender and slightly charred.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Boil potatoes until tender, then mash with butter, milk, and roasted garlic until creamy and smooth.
- What is filet mignon? Filet mignon is a tender and flavorful cut of beef that comes from the smaller end of the tenderloin. It’s known for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich, beefy flavor.
- How do I know when my filet mignon is cooked to perfection? The best way to ensure that your filet mignon is cooked to your desired level of doneness is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium-rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium, cook until the internal temperature reaches 135-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Can I marinate filet mignon? Filet mignon is a flavorful cut of meat on its own and doesn’t necessarily need a marinade. However, you can marinate it if you’d like to add additional flavor. Keep in mind that marinating for too long or with an acidic marinade can break down the tender meat and make it mushy.
- What’s the difference between filet mignon and other cuts of steak? Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, which is a smaller and less-exercised muscle, resulting in a very tender and lean cut of beef. Other cuts of steak, such as ribeye or New York strip, come from more heavily-exercised muscles and have more fat and marbling, resulting in a richer and more flavorful steak.
- How should I store leftover filet mignon? If you have leftover filet mignon, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, gently warm it in the oven or on the stovetop to avoid overcooking the already tender meat.