Before I went to college, I always thought cooking a steak was such an intimidating task. How do you know when it’s ready? How am I supposed to know how long to cook it to get that perfectly red/pink center? So many thoughts went through my head. Little did I know that it’s pretty much the easiest thing ever. Cooking a good steak doesn’t take but a handful of ingredients. When you have a really great cut of meat, you don’t need much. Some corse salt and pepper is a good start. I love to sear mine on a really hot cast iron skillet with some olive oil. Then I transfer it into a 400 degree oven for a short amount of time. The oven is such an important step…as it insures the steak cooks evenly throughout… just the way you want it. After the oven I like to put it back on the stove with some butter and fresh herbs. I continuously spoon the butter on the steak for about 30 seconds. The butter adds a saltiness and richness to the steak. Making it impossibly juicy.
Cooking a steak is not about perfection, but more about practice in my opinion. Every steak is a different weight and thickness so there’s no science to the perfect time to cook it. I think the more you cook steak, the better you’ll be able to handle it. Cooking so many in my life, I can do it by touch now. If you’re not familiar with the finger test, google it. It’s a good way to test the steak to see if it’s done. If you don’t want to rely on touch, you can use a meat thermometer. Using a thermometer is always a smart choice. It pretty much makes cooking a steak fool proof. I love my steak medium rare, which registers 125 degrees F.
Sometimes I go back and fourth when it comes to the cooking method of a steak. Do I do it on a cast iron? Or do I do it on a grill? Both have their perks. While a grill gives the steak a great fire flavor… the cast iron gives the steak a wonderful crunchy top and bottom. In the end, I don’t think the grill can stand up to the cast iron. Nothing can beat a steak with a layer of crispy saltiness on the outside…and a center that cuts like butter. The cast iron will win every time. If you’ve never cooked a steak indoors, trust me when I say it won’t disappoint.
DATE NIGHT FILET MIGNON IN THE CAST IRON
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 8 oz. beef tenderloin filet mignon medallions (2 inches thick)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Remove the filets from the fridge and let them come to room temperature. 30-45 minutes on the counter should do the trick.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Do not start cooking the steaks until the oven is heated.
- Heavily season both sides of the steaks with kosher salt and pepper. The spices are going to create a nice crispy exterior on the top and bottom.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet (or oven proof pan) to high heat. Add in the olive oil to cover the pan evenly.
- Add in the filets and cook for about 2 minutes on one side (do not touch the steak during these two minutes). Flip steak to the other side and cook another 2 minutes.
- Immediately transfer the skillet to the pre heated oven and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Cook time will differ with everyone depending on the thickness and size of the steaks. Use a meat thermometer (or the finger test) to measure the temperature. At this point the steaks should be almost done to your liking.
- Medium rare: 125 degrees F — Medium: 130 degrees F
- Once out of the oven, quickly transfer to the stove on medium high heat. Add the butter and thyme to the cast iron. Tip the skillet to the side so that the pool of butter gathers on the edge. Quickly spoon the melted butter over the steaks for 30 seconds. (It’s important to do this step quickly so that the steak does not overcook).
- Remove the steaks from the cast iron and place on a plate. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.