Filet mignon is a popular cut of beef known for its tenderness and rich flavor. Whether you're looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a delicious meal at home, cooking filet mignon in a pan is a simple and satisfying way to prepare this cut of meat. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps on how to cook filet mignon in a pan.
Choosing the Right Cut of Meat
Before you start cooking, it's important to choose the right filet mignon. Look for high-quality cuts of meat that are well-marbled and at least 1 inch thick. The grade of the meat is also important, with USDA Prime being the highest quality. If you're unsure, ask your butcher for advice on selecting the best cut of filet mignon.
Preparing the Filet Mignon
To prepare the filet mignon for cooking, season it generously with salt and pepper on both sides. You can also use a marinade or rub to add flavor. Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking, which can take up to 30 minutes.
Cooking the Filet Mignon
To cook filet mignon in a pan, you'll need a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until it's hot, but not smoking. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and let it heat up for a few seconds.
Once the oil is hot, carefully place the filet mignon in the pan. Cook the meat for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip it over and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature, inserting it into the thickest part of the steak.
For a crustier exterior, you can sear the filet mignon by cooking it for 2-3 minutes on each side at a higher heat. You can also baste the steak with butter, garlic, and herbs for added flavor.
Resting and Serving the Filet Mignon
Once the filet mignon is cooked to the desired level of doneness, remove it from the pan and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a more tender and flavorful steak.
To serve, slice the filet mignon into thick pieces and drizzle with any remaining pan juices. You can also serve it with a sauce, such as a red wine reduction or béarnaise sauce, and a side dish like mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad.
Cooking filet mignon in a pan is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this popular cut of beef. By following these steps, you can create a perfectly cooked steak that's sure to impress. Remember to choose high-quality meat, season and prepare it properly, and cook it to the desired level of doneness. With a little practice, you can master the art of cooking filet mignon in a pan and enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home.
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