Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon

In writing this recipe, I feel like I am sharing my best kept secret. This is the first meal I made for Joshua (after many not so edible casseroles, including one that involved an entire bag of Doritos) where he actually thought to himself, WOW, maybe there is hope for her after all! There is absolutely no reason to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy steak dinner at Frankie Rowland's when you can make this restaurant worthy filet mignon in your own home in under 30 minutes!

Do I have your attention? Good. The key to this recipe is a cast iron skillet and a really good steak. The Lodge makes a great skillet for around 40 dollars, and I have seen them for sale in Kroger. I always buy our filets from the Fresh Market and serve mashed potatoes and oven roasted asparagus on the side. 

I must share that my great friend, Taryn (nickname Martha as she is a house decorating and cooking goddess) , introduced me to the idea of searing and baking a filet instead of grilling it. May I also suggest splurging on a nice bottle of California Cabernet Sauvingnon while at the Fresh Market, which makes this meal worthy of the president of the United States, or in my case just the people you love dearly and want to spoil to death.

Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon 
inspired from Ina Garten's Steakhouse Steaks recipe

2 (1o ounce) filet mignon
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot (5-7 minutes).
  3. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and brush them lightly with oil. Combine the salt and pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to coat both sides.
  4. When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides, for 2 minutes per side. Will take total of 10 minutes. 
  5. Top each steak with 1T butter, and place skillet in the oven. For medium rare (125 degrees) cook for 7-10 minutes, testing with meat thermometer. 
  6. Once you've achieved desired doneness, transfer the steaks to platter and cover tightly in aluminum foil. Allow steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes. This really makes all the difference in the world!
The secret is out, BON APPETIT!!

Oven-Roasted Asparagus
1 Bunch Asparagus
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Optional - freshly grated parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wash and trim asparagus (cut an inch or so off the bottom)
  3. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer. Pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, and shake baking sheet to coat each piece.
  4. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast the asparagus for 10 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired, serve immediately. 
The Best Mashed Potatoes
I am partial to yukon gold potatoes, lots of butter, and half and half. 

1 and 1/2 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm half and half 
1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper


Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add 1/2 tsp salt. Add water until potatoes are covered, bring to a boil, and then cover pan and reduce heat to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (until a fork can easily pass through them). Drain potatoes and place in kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment. 

Warm half and half and melt butter together, add to potatoes. Add salt and pepper, and mix until desired consistency is reached. 


  1. I bought the filets at Fresh Market as you recommended. These were by far the best steaks I have made on my cast iron skillet (which I love cooking on). I look forward to trying some of your other recipes. I am a fan of Barefoot as well!

  2. This is an Ina Garten tried and true! The filets come out perfect every time.

  3. Made the filets and asparagus, just as you outlined...probably one of the best steaks I've ever eaten, at home or otherwise.


    I very much appreciated your information! *burp*

  4. Perfect! My husband was so impressed!

  5. Looks great. Going to make these this weekend for my boyfriend. Quick question...

    "When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides, for 2 minutes per side. Will take total of 10 minutes."

    What do you mean by this? Doesn't each steak just have two sides? Top and bottom? That would total 4 minutes? What am I missing here?

    1. What she means is 2 minutes one side, 2 minutes the other side, then back two minutes on the first side, 2 minutes on side two, then one more 2 minute session on the first side...then remove. Total of 10 minutes.

  6. If you have really thick filets that are shaped more like cubes, you need to sear the top, bottom, and sides. I usually sear 5 "sides" - the top, bottom, and 3 sides. If you steak is not quite that thick, you could just sear the top and bottom and then go to the oven and roast. The "resting" for 5-10 minutes is what really makes these filets incredibly juicy.

    Let me know if this makes sense...and hope you have a fabulous filet dinner!

  7. Wow this sounds so good! Just received a cast iron pan as a birthday present, so I'm definitely going to have to try out this recipe.

  8. The key to this recipe is a cast iron skillet and a really good steak. The Lodge makes a great skillet for around 40 dollars, and I have seen them ...

  9. They cooked perfectly, but were too salty.

  10. Delish!! Perfectly seared on the outside and the 7 minutes in the oven for medium rare was right on target. I had chateaubriand cuts from Fresh Market about 2" thick. So good!! Only problem is the house gets a little smoky when searing on the stovetop. It's a small sacrifice though ;-)