If you have the opportunity to marinate the steaks early in the day of cooking, or even the night before, the outcome will be outstanding. Here’s what to do: Either early in the day or the night before put the steaks in a dish with a little XVOO on the top and bottom of each steak, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, place a smashed garlic clove on each fillet and several sprigs of mixed herbs such as basil, tarragon, oregano, parsley or whatever herbs you like. Sprinkle a little more XVOO on top of the herbs. Cover and refrigerate. This gives the meat even more flavor and tenderness. When you are ready to cook, discard the herbs and garlic and dab some of the XVOO off of the steaks with a paper towel.
If you don’t have the time to marinate, don’t worry; the steaks will still be delicious.
Cooking the steaks just before your guests arrive will give you time out of the kitchen during cocktails. You can do this up to an hour before serving. The steaks hold perfectly sitting in the pan off the heat.
4 8 Ounce Fillet Mignons (Cut From the Center of a Tenderloin)
1 Tablespoon XVOO
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Coarse Sea Salt
Preheat Oven to 450°.
Remove filets from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature.
Over medium high heat, heat the XVOO and the butter in a cast iron pan or frying pan large enough to hold the steaks without crowding. (Crowding the pan will make the filets steam instead of sear.) Season the steaks with the coarse sea salt and black pepper and add to the hot pan. Sear the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned and a crust forms. Put the pan into the preheated oven and roast for approximately 8 minutes or until an instant read meat thermometer inserted in the center of the steak registers 128° for rare. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
If you cook the steaks in advance: When ready to serve the steaks, return the pan to the oven for 3-4 minutes to heat the filets. (If you want the steaks cooked more, keep them in the oven, this time around, for several more minutes.) Use your thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat: 130° medium-rare, 135° medium, 145° well done.
To add another dimension to the steaks, sauté an assortment of wild mushrooms with a bit of sliced shallot. Use the same pan in which you cooked the steaks. Remove the steaks and add a tablespoon of butter. When the butter is hot and bubbly add the shallots and sauté briefly. Add the mushrooms. Don’t disturb them for about two minutes then sprinkled with salt and pepper and toss them around in the pan to finish cooking. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup Madeira or red wine. Reduce the wine and juices from the mushrooms just a bit. Take the pan off the heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons of cold butter that has been cut into eight pieces. Add the butter bit by bit until completely incorporated. Serve immediately with the seared steaks.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can make a comment on this blog or email me at