Filets Mignons with Parmesan Butter
Here, filet mignon, one of the most lauded cuts of beef, is cooked first on the stovetop, then finished in the oven. The Parmesan butter melts over the warm meat, complementing its richness and adding an appealing nuttiness. Don’t use a nonstick pan for this recipe, as it can’t safely achieve the heat level you need for excellent browning. When making the steaks at the height of summer, accompany with a tomato-basil salad.
For the Parmesan butter:
- 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. coarsely cracked pepper
4 filets mignons, each about 3/4 lb. (375 g) and 1 1/2 inches
(4 cm) thick, patted dry
- Olive oil as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To make the Parmesan butter, in a mini food processor, combine the butter, cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth. Set aside at room temperature. (The butter can be tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; return to room temperature before serving.)
Rub both sides of the steaks with olive oil. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat a large, ovenproof fry pan over high heat until it is very hot, about 3 minutes. Season both sides of the steaks generously with salt and pepper. Add enough olive oil to the pan to coat the bottom and reduce the heat to medium-high. When the oil is shimmering, use tongs to place the steaks in the pan without letting them touch. Cook without moving them for 2 1/2 minutes. Turn the steaks over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the steaks to a rack set over a plate and let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).
Return the steaks to the pan, transfer to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a steak registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 11 to 12 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the steaks to the rack and let rest, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes.
Arrange the steaks on plates, top each with a large spoonful of the Parmesan butter and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2011).