The Perfect Filet Mignon


       How To Cook A Steak by Edna St. Vincent Filet

My beefsteak’s seared on both sides, I’m close to my first bite; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – – it’s such a lovely sight.


     Many times, in magazines I’ve seen advertisements picturing a perfectly cooked filet mignon. It’s nicely seared on the outside and uniformly pink on the inside. I used to wonder what tricks were used to get that result. And if it would be possible for me to create such a masterpiece. 

     Well, it actually can be done. The way I’ve found to achieve such a feat is to first sear the filet mignon in a skillet, and then finish it in the oven. 

     When I want to serve a picture-perfect filet, my favorite recipe is steak au poivre, also called peppercorn steak. It’s considered a standard, and it’s found on most respectable steakhouse menus. 

You Have Choices

     There are lots of variations, but traditionally what is done is to crack peppercorns and lightly press them into the filets. I also like to apply a rub to one side of the filet mignon. At this point many recipes suggest basting the filets with oil. But I’ve found this adds a small grey band or layer between the sear and the pink during the cooking process. The filets are then rewrapped and stored overnight. This allows the seasonings to infuse into the meat. 

     Some cooks prefer to sear the filet mignon as the initial step and then finish cooking in the oven. Others like to cook first and sear at the end.  My preference is to sear first.  This way I can prepare a delicious pan sauce while the filets are in the oven.

The Picture-Perfect Filet Mignon

filet mignon

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