A lean precious cut of beef known for its juicy tenderness, the filet mignon is a delightful steak to eat, but not always delightful to cook. A filet mignon is a lean muscle without a lot of fat, and it is not altogether forgiving if cooked improperly. Expensive and precious, you don’t want to ruin this marvelous piece of meat by turning it into a substance more appropriate for use as a shoe sole.
The trick is to create a nice brown sear before placing it in an oven to 425°F. Depending upon the desired finish, you’ll want the internal *temperature of the meat to be anywhere from 120 to 160°F.
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Heat the saute pan and add the oil.
Once the oil is heated, sear the steak about 2-3 minutes on one side. Salt and pepper the top of the steak. Do not move it until it has developed a nice, brown sear. Once the first side is browned, turn the steak over and sear the second side 2-3 minutes. Within the first minute of the second side sear, add the 1.5 Tbsp of butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, tilt the pan slightly, and spoon the butter over the top of the steak a few times.
Once the second side is seared, remove from pan. (Set the pan and the butter/juices aside for later.) and place in an oven safe dish and sprinkle with thyme (removed from the stems) over the top of the steak. Roast the steak in a 425°F oven.
I roasted my filet for about 7 minutes for a nice medium rare. There are several rules of thumb for time depending upon the oven temperature, your altitude, and thickness of the steak. It is best to rely on a cooking guide for exact cooking times. I removed mine from the oven after 7 minutes and placed the steak on a plate to rest for 15 minutes.
Before I allowed my steak to rest, I tested for temperature. It was a good 130°F for a perfect medium rare. It is very important not to cut into the meat prior to letting it rest. If the meat is cut too soon, the juices will leak out, and the result will be a tougher piece of meat.
While the steak is resting, make the raspberry port sauce. Smash the raspberries with a fork, and add the raspberries and the shallot (or onion) to the pan with the leftover butter from when you seared the steak. Let them cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. For extra sweetness, feel free to add a pinch or two of sugar. After a minute, add the port (and vinegar if desired) and reduce. The sauce may be a bit runny, so you may mix a rue (the Tbsp of flower fully mixed with about 2 Tbsp hot water) and add it to the sauce.
Once the steak has rested for 15 minutes, slice, cover with sauce and serve.
1 medium-sized filet mignon about 2.5 inches thick (see first picture above)
5 fresh sprigs of thyme
1.5 Tbsp Butter (regular salted butter is best, but I use vegan non-dairy butter to keep the recipe dairy-free)
1/2 shallot (minced) or 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp vinegar (if desired)
1/4 cup Port
1/4 cup smashed raspberries
1 tsp flour in warm water to create a rue
*Suggested finished steak internal temperatures:
Rare 120° to 125°F
Center is bright red, pink toward the outside
Medium Rare 130° to 135°F
Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the outside
Medium 140° to 145°F
(Center is light pink, outer portion is brown)
Medium Well 150° to 155°F
Well Done 160°F and above
(steak is pretty much brown all over) My suggestion is don’t…just don’t. Please don’t waste a good filet mignon if the plan is to roast into a shoe insert. Be nice to the steak, and try a nice medium, if you must.