Cast Iron Seared Filet Mignon

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 2

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


2 (8-ounce) filet mignon steaks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Pull the steaks out of the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. About 5 minutes before you’re ready too cook, heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the steaks on all sides with salt and pepper. When the skillet is lightly smoking, add the oil and steaks to the pan, making sure there is space between each steak. Sear on one side until a browned crust forms, about 5 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Swirl the butter in the pan, then transfer to the oven. Cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 120 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and return to a burner over medium heat. Add the remaining butter, let it melt, and then use the butter to baste steaks constantly until the thermometer reads 125 degrees (for medium-rare).

Transfer the steaks to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve.

About the recipe

Cooking a steak in a cast iron pan not only imparts a delicious brown crust on the exterior of the meat, it also gives you the ability to continually baste the steak with butter for extra flavor and richness. Lean cuts like a filet mignon are perfect candidates for this technique. (But let’s face it: Virtually any steak is better when cooked in cast iron.)

Pro tip: Tying a piece of kitchen twine around the equator of the steak helps maintain its shape and allows for more even cooking. Pull the steak from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking to help it cook evenly.