The dads in your life will go crazy for this Pan Seared Filet Mignon topped with Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Compound Butter.
Confession: I have had filet mignon in my freezer for months, but have been too terrified to cook it. I know it’s silly, but the thought of messing up those beauties had me conveniently ignoring their presence every time I opened the freezer.
Let’s face it. Filet isn’t exactly cheap, and I knew it wasn’t going to be something I could just “experiment” with until I succeeded. If only, right? But finally one day, I looked that filet in the face, took a deep breath, put my big girl pants on, and decided it was time.
I did a lot of research beforehand, and finally settled on searing the filet in a cast iron skillet and finishing it in a hot oven. The method worked like a charm, and the filets came out perfect on the first try. And you know what? It ended up being one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. How crazy is that? It only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, and the resulting steak has a gorgeous sear and tender, juicy center.
So what’s the secret? I’m no expert, but from what I’ve read (and now tested for myself), it seems like a few factors are necessary for producing that “just right” filet.
First, allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 25-30 minutes before cooking.
Second, start the steak in a hot, oven safe skillet to get a nice sear on one side. Flip, and then transfer to the oven to finish cooking.
Third, use a meat thermometer to get the perfect doneness. I recommend the Thermapen. It’s simple, incredibly fast, and accurate. For filet, I recommend cooking to medium rare or no further than medium, which means an internal temperature of 135 degrees to 150 degrees.
Finally, after you remove the steak from the oven, tent it with foil and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow all the juices to redistribute throughout the steak.
Oh, and I guess there’s one more thing. Serve it with a big ol’ dollop of this incredible Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Compound Butter. If you’ve never made compound butter before, it’s really as simple as throwing together softened butter, caramelized onions, and blue cheese, shaping it into a log, and refrigerating until you’re ready to
use it put copious amounts of it on top of your perfectly cooked filet.
This is Father’s Day food at it’s best. There’s no better way to tell the fathers in your life you love them than with beef and butter. Seriously, make it happen. The groans of satisfaction will be all the thanks you ever need.
For the compound butter:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Vidalia onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup blue cheese (See note)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filets:
- Olive oil
- 2 filet mignons, approximately 1 1/2 inches thick and 6 ounces each
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
For the compound butter:
- Heat the oil over medium low heat in a large skillet. Add the onion slices and stir to coat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring only once or twice. Sprinkle the onions lightly with salt. Add more oil or water if the onions are starting to stick or burn. Cook for another 15-20 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding water as necessary, until onions are soft and evenly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- In a bowl, beat together the onions, blue cheese, and softened butter until well combined. Turn the mixture out onto a piece of saran wrap or parchment paper. Shape into a log then roll and wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to use, or for up to a week.
For the filets:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the filets on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Coat the bottom of an oven safe pan with olive oil (I used a cast iron skillet). Heat to medium. Add the steak and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Flip the steaks then immediately place them in the oven and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Use a meat thermometer (I recommend the Thermopen) to test for doneness. For medium rare (which is recommended), remove the steak when internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees. For medium, cook to 150 degrees.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the steak on a plate or a cutting board. Tent with foil and allow to rest for at least five minutes so juices can redistribute.
- Serve steak with slices of compound butter and pan juices.
If you're following a gluten free diet, be sure to check the labels on blue cheese to ensure it's gluten free.