Learn how to make the best pan-seared and roasted filet mignon with herbed butter baste
Spring is in the air and that alone is reason to celebrate! With the promise of new beginnings, warmer weather, flowers in bloom, there is the hope for a brighter and happier world. Spring is also the season for Easter, and regardless of how you celebrate, it offers an opportunity to gather with family and friends to eat, drink and be merry!
We have partnered with Canada Beef and are so excited to offer you an Easter feast idea that will elevate your luncheon or dinner table. Have you been too intimidated to try cooking filet mignon? Are you under the impression that filet mignon is tender, yet flavourless? Have you not considered beef to be the perfect centerpiece for your Easter table? Remember, this is the season of new beginnings. Let us convince you that pan-seared filet mignon using Canadian Beef tenderloin steaks, cooked to perfection, is exactly what you need this Easter holiday!
Why eat beef?
Beef is a powerhouse of goodness and packs quite a concentrated nutritional punch. Primarily made up of protein, with no carbohydrate content, beef offers an excellent source of zinc and iron and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
Unlike plant proteins which are carbohydrate foods with some protein, the protein in beef and other meats is ‘complete’, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that humans need for health. So, in terms of protein, a little meat really does go a long way in helping you achieve your daily requirement of protein.
So much beef to choose from.
Canadian beef is an incredibly versatile ingredient with something to fit any taste, and any budget. Whether you are a home cook or a professional chef (or a food blogger 🙂 ) there is definitely a way for you to incorporate beef into your weekly menu rotation.
Here we have chosen to highlight one of our favourite cuts of beef, Canada Beef tenderloin steaks (filet mignon). Although it tends to be a pricier cut of meat, filet mignon, cooked right, is worth every penny.
What is filet mignon?
Anatomically, filet mignon comes from the tenderloin of the cow and is the smallest end portion of a cattle’s psoas major muscle. This is a long muscle located near the spine which is not involved in weight bearing. Because the psoas major muscle is not used as much as other muscles, this inactivity causes it to be more tender than other cuts of beef. For the same reason the tenderloin contains very little marbling and fat, leading some to believe that it is a less flavourful cut. We think that there is nothing further from the truth! A well cooked filet mignon is a fork-tender, flavourful, and luxurious piece of beef.
Why cook filet mignon.
Dining out is always a treat, but being able to create restaurant-style food in the comfort of your own home is an even bigger treat. This is especially true when you can enjoy luxurious items for less, without sacrificing flavour. So set your Easter table with your white linens, crystal candelabra and fine china – your pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste is definitely worth the extravagance. Also, our pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste made with Canadian beef tastes just as good served on your everyday earthenware dishes, with overhead lighting and paper napkins. Your meal will still be elegant and special!
Reasons we love filet mignon:
- It always impresses. Many people worry about ruining such a special piece of meat, and so avoid cooking it. By following our recipe you will be surrounded by the oohs and aahs of your guests.
- It is quick to cook. A quick 3 minute sear per side, about 5 minutes in the oven, and another 5 minutes of resting time is all you need.
- It goes beautifully with simple sides. Let your Canadian Beef tenderloin steak be the star of your plate. Serve it along with something simple like homemade fries or a baked potato and some greens like beans or broccoli.
- You can make 2 servings or 8. Because each filet mignon steak is individual, you cook as many as you need. So if you will be hosting an intimate Easter dinner for two, or having the entire family over, you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe!
- Leftovers are amazing. If you happen to have leftovers, thinly sliced filet mignon on top of a lovely mixed green salad is a dream. Try it with blue cheese or ranch dressing and make your sandwich-eating office mates sad.
How to shop for filet mignon.
A recipe such as this one for pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste relies on only a few ingredients, making the quality of the ingredients of paramount importance. We are thrilled to have partnered with Canada Beef to prepare the best filet mignon money could buy. Canada Beef benefits from a rich landscape, cold climate, rich grasslands and fields, all of which make for hardy and healthy herds, which translate to delicious and wholesome meals.
How to pan-sear filet mignon with herbed butter baste.
Pan-searing your filet mignon before finishing it in the oven produces a beautiful caramelized crust that is full of flavour. There are a few key elements to keep in mind in order to produce the best sear.
- Your pan must be smoking hot.
- Your pan must be oven-proof. We love our cast iron pan for pan-searing filet mignon, but a stainless steel pan would work as well.
- You must use a high-smoke point oil or fat such as canola oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.
- Sear your filet mignon for 3 minutes per side; no more, no less. Set a timer. Trust us.
- Do not season your filet mignon with anything but salt and pepper; any other seasonings can be added later, otherwise they will burn.
- Don’t be shy with the salt. Use a coarse salt (we like kosher salt) and apply it liberally. Remember that this is the main seasoning you are providing to your filet mignon.
- Use butter! Everything is better with butter, and a little goes a long way. Add butter to your pan when you begin to sear the second side of your steaks. Add fresh herbs at this point as well. Your pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste is going to be a crowd-pleaser!
- Speaking of crowds, do not overcrowd your pan; you want your filet mignon to sear, not steam.
Do you need a cast iron skillet to make pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste?
We really like the sear that we get with a cast iron pan and if you happen to have one at home we recommend using it for your pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste. However, any oven-proof pan will work just as well, including those which are stainless steel (so long as the handle is also stainless steel of course).
How to know when your pan-seared filet mignon is cooked.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, we highly suggest you purchase one. Although professional chefs may be able to tell the doneness of a filet mignon by pressing on it, most home cooks (including us) cannot. A meat thermometer is your best friend, and will ensure that your pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste is perfect.
How long you cook your filet mignon, and what internal temperature you are looking for, largely depends on your own personal preference. We enjoy our filet mignon cooked medium, with an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the temperature of a filet mignon will continue to rise as it rests, we remove our steaks from the oven when they have reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The following guide will help you know when your filet mignon is ready, depending upon your desired level of doneness:
Rare – 125 deg. F.
Medium Rare – 135 deg. F.
Medium – 145 deg. F.
Medium-Well – 155 deg. F.
Well – 165 deg. F.
What to serve with your pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste.
For a beautiful Easter feast consider serving your filet mignon with something that will add colour and texture to your plate. Our favourite accompaniments include baked potatoes and something green, like green beans or broccoli or rapini.
How to make many servings of pan-seared filet mignon with herbed butter baste.
If you will be hosting a crowd, then you will need to adapt your cooking technique slightly in order to ensure that everyone’s meal is ready at the same time. These are the steps you will need to take:
- Pan-sear your filet mignon according to the recipe instructions.
- Once your filet mignon is seared on both sides transfer it to a roasting rack or roasting pan large enough to accommodate all your steaks.
- Repeat until all of your filet mignon steaks have been seared.
- Roast your beef in the oven according to the recipe directions. You may need to adjust your cooking time slightly as some of your earlier steaks will be entering the oven at a colder temperature than those more recently seared.
- Use your meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steaks. Remember that the temperature of your filet mignon will continue to rise by approximately 5 degrees as it is resting.
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Pan-seared Filet Mignon with Herbed Butter Baste
- 1 oven-proof skillet preferably cast-iron or stainless steel
- 1 Meat thermometer
- 2 portions Canadian Beef Tenderloin Steaks (filet mignon) 1½ - 2 inches thick
- canola oil for brushing onto pan or other high-smoke point oil such as grapeseed oil
- kosher salt for seasoning
- freshly ground pepper for seasoning
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Ensure that you have a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Brush your pan with a thin coating of canola oil and set over medium high heat for approximately 5 minutes. You want to get your pan very hot; look for smoke coming off of your pan and for the oil to be sizzling.
- Season both sides of your filet mignon with a liberal amount of kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper.
- Place your filet mignon steaks into the pan. Cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes.See video here.
- Carefully turn the filet mignon over and add butter to the pan along with the thyme and rosemary. See video here.2 tbsp (30 grams) unsalted butter, softened, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Tilt your pan slightly and scoop up the butter (which has melted) and use a spoon to pour butter over the top of your filet mignon steaks as they are searing. Cook for a total of 3 minutes on that side as well. See video here.
- Using a heat proof mitt, immediately transfer the pan to the middle rack of your oven and roast your filet mignon for 4 to 5 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit for Medium (see Recipe Note).
- Remove the pan from the oven and baste once again with the melted butter in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board or a dish and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Rare: 120°F
- Medium-rare: 130°F
- Medium: 140°F
- Medium-well: 150°F
- Well: 160°F