Cast-Iron Filet Mignon

Sliced Filet Ready for My Dinner Plate!

I have a confession to make. I have always been intimidated by the idea of cooking my own steak.  Pre-Paleo, I cooked primarily Italian fare and baked goods, with maybe some chicken here or there, but steak seemed like the domain of dads and steakhouses.  Earlier this year, I made the decision to conquer my fear of the steak (because let’s face it, steak is gooood).

For inspiration, I looked to Ina Garten… she has a recipe for steakhouse steaks with Roquefort chive sauce that inspired me to cook my own filets for the first time.  Now, here’s how I conquer the steak…

Cast-Iron Filet Mignon
Quantity: 2
Time: 15 minute prep, 10 minute cooking, 10 minute resting (35 minutes total)
Paleo Grade: B (I add a little grass-fed butter to finish, but this is TOTALLY optional – they’re delish without, too!)

  • Two 2″ thick 4-6 oz. filet mignons (grass fed if possible)
  • 1 Tbs. fleur de sel (I like the coarser variety.)
  • 1 Tbs. coarse fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted grass-fed butter (room temp) (I like Kerrygold.)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and heat your cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5-10 minutes, until very hot.  (Make sure you’ve got potholders handy… that handle gets dangerously hot!)

Mix your fleur de sel and black pepper on a plate, and then press the steaks lightly into the spices to coat all sides of the filets. Once the cast-iron pan is very hot, sear all sides of your filets, about 2 minutes per surface (including sides).  Note: I set off my smoke alarm darn near every time I do this… make sure you’ve got your hood fan going!  It usually takes me about 10 minutes to fully sear my steaks.

Seared Fliet Ready for the Oven

Once you’ve seared the meat, remove (with your potholder!) the pan from the heat, lay the filets flat, and drop a Tbs. of grass-fed butter on top of each (or don’t!  totally optional). Pop the cast-iron into the oven and cook filets until the desired doneness.  Should take about 7-10 minutes for rare (120 degrees) and a bit longer for medium rare (125 degrees).  I HIGHLY recommend using an electric meat thermometer that you can monitor outside the oven.  It’s super frustrating to realize you’ve overcooked your slightly-smaller than usual steak, and this can be easily avoided with a good thermometer.

Once you’ve reached your desired doneness, remove the pan from the oven, transfer steaks to a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and let those puppies rest for 5-10 minutes. Please. It really makes a difference.

And that’s all there is to it!

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Categories: Mains

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4 Comments on “Cast-Iron Filet Mignon”

  1. Phil
    April 8, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Whats with the grass fed butter??

    • April 9, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Hi Phil – Could you be a little more specific with your question? I make no bones about the fact that I do occasionally use grass-fed, hormone & antibiotic free butter to cook. I’m able to tolerate dairy well, and it works for me. That said, most of the time, I actually omit the butter from this particular recipe and just do salt and pepper. It’s delicious as is!


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