From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Steak House Dinners
Many cooks feel that filet mignon should be reserved for a celebratory restaurant meal rather than a less-expensive home-cooked meal. We wanted to replicate the best restaurant filet at home, with a rich, brown crust and a tender interior, topped with a quick but luscious pan sauce.
For a great crust, we patted the steaks dry before searing them in a very hot skillet. Then we transferred the meat to a hot oven to cook through. Finishing the steak in the oven prevents the richly flavored brown bits in the bottom of the pan from burning and gives the cook time to start the sauce, which can be made in minutes while the steaks rest.
Determining when the meat is cooked to your liking is key, so pay close attention to the visual cues in step 3, or follow our suggestions below. If you choose to serve the steaks with one of the linked sauces , have all the sauce ingredients ready before searing the steaks. Begin the sauce while the steaks are in the oven. To cook six steaks instead of four, switch to a 12-inch pan and use 6 teaspoons of olive oil.