Perfect Brandy Cream Filet Mignon is the best how to recipe for pan fried beef tenderloin cooked on a stove, in creamy brandy or cognac sauce.
Best Filet Mignon Recipe
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved filet mignon. Once a year we’d dress up and our parents would treat us to dinner at a local steakhouse.
Even though there were lots of good items on the menu, I always chose their filet mignon, full of flavor and perfectly portioned, it was the ideal meal and perfect steak for me. I couldn’t have been happier.
For years I assumed the only way to eat the best filet mignon was in a restaurant. At first, I was afraid to cook it myself as it wasn’t the cheapest cut of beef and I thought I would ruin it.
So, throwing caution to the wind I tried a homemade, pan fried version of what turned out to be the best filet mignon recipe EVER. It was one of my finest cooking moments.
Making this pan fried filet mignon was so easy and practically foolproof too. I did it without using a cast iron skillet or placing the filet mignon in the oven after searing it. That’s not my style.
With a little courage and adventure, you can make the best filet mignon recipe with confidence.
Pan Fried Filet Mignon
This pan fried filet mignon is totally restaurant quality and melt in your mouth amazing.
There’s nothing like barbecuing filet mignon as my husband, Ken, will attest to. No doubt grilling gives filet mignon (with or without bacon) a unique flavor the flames create. Ken is so committed to the barbecue, he even grills in the winter!
He’s not alone as many people feel the same way and so, near the bottom of this post, are instructions on grilling filet mignon. There’s an option to print or copy it if you want to.
It took a while to convince Ken that filet mignon cooked in a skillet tastes astonishingly good. The purpose of this post is to prove the same to you and that’s my focus.
Perfect Filet Mignon
The most popular and recommended way of making the perfect filet mignon is medium rare.
If cooked beyond medium rare, you run the risk of losing the soft, delicate and tender texture that makes filet mignon so desirable.
Bottom line? Be careful not to overcook your filet mignon. To quote my husband, “when cooked too long, it’s like eating a dried up leather boot”. It’s one sad looking piece of meat.
And who wants that?
Best Filet Mignon
If you want to make the best filet mignon, one of the most simple and important techniques is to pan fry it on your stove.
Pan fried filet mignon cooks so fast, it not only makes a wonderful weeknight meal, it’s fancy enough for entertaining.
You will be shocked at how easy and super delicious this steak dinner really is.
The timing is phenomenal and it’ll look like you spent hours slaving in the kitchen.
Once you know how everyone likes their filet mignon cooked, simply adjust the recipe to accommodate them.
The looks of satisfaction will be very rewarding and how terrific is that?
Homemade and flawlessly pan fried, this best filet mignon recipe rivals even the top steak house restaurants around and at a much cheaper price! Do you need any more convincing?
Meaning of Filet Mignon
The simple meaning of filet mignon is a steak cut from the tenderloin of the cow. Filet mignon is a tender, delicate, fine filet and in France they call this cut filet de bœuf or beef filet.
In North America, there are butchers who consider all tenderloin steaks as filet mignon. That’s what I’m used to hearing.
What is Filet Mignon?
What part of the cow is filet mignon?
Usually taken from a heifer or steer, filet mignon is from the smaller end of the tenderloin located alongside the spine, backbone and ribs.
Is beef tenderloin the same as filet mignon?
Yes. Filet mignon is commonly referred to as beef tenderloin and it’s the same thing.
Porterhouse steaks and T-bone steaks are large cuts of beef that include the filet.
For curiosity’s sake, the small medallion on one side of the bone is the filet, and the long strip of meat on the other side is the strip steak.
To add more flavor, filet mignon is commonly wrapped in bacon or served with a special filet mignon sauce, like the one in this recipe or a compound or herbed butter such as this Bacon Butter.
I urge you to have a look at the bacon butter recipe. If you enjoy bacon it’s a bucket list kind of recipe and I’m not even joking.
Herbed or compound butter is added to filet mignon while or after cooking to assist in creating a flavorful and tender filet mignon.
Beef tenderloin can be purchased whole or cut up into steaks. I buy the entire beef tenderloin and my husband has the pleasure of slicing it into steaks.
If you can afford to buy the whole tenderloin, freezing the unused steaks in portions can be a money saver.
Given that beef tenderloin is so expensive, I wait for a sale. I wish I could afford to eat it more often but that’s not the reality.
Ken pointed out that if we ate filet mignon all the time, it wouldn’t be a treat. He’s right but still it would be nice if it were part of our regular dinner rotation. Sigh! And it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it!
Filet Mignon vs Ribeye
Without a doubt my favorite cut of steak is filet mignon. Given that my husband is a lover of all types of steak, especially ribeye, I have to give it a nod in this post.
The differences between filet mignon vs. ribeye comes down to leanness, size texture and flavor.
Both are pricey cuts of beef and with good reason.
From time-to-time, I will treat my dogs Biggie and Lucille to a steak. But not filet mignon or ribeye as these are big ticket quality meats.
Ken and I will enjoy these steaks but can’t look at my dogs as I know the drool is arms length. I can’t blame them for that.
Ribeye steak is the center portion of the ribs, between the loin and shoulder and runs across almost the entire rack of ribs. Ribeye is known for its rich, wonderful flavor and you can thank the fat marbling for that.
Marbling melts resulting in the most tender, and oh so juicy steak you’ll ever taste. That’s why it’s so popular among steak lovers.
Smaller than the marbled ribeye, filet mignon has little to no marbling.
That’s why filet mignon needs a little flavor boost by wrapping it in bacon or serving it with a sauce. These additions also give moisture to what could potentially be a dry piece of beef if not cooked properly.
With its tender, butter like, smooth texture topped with a fine sauce, filet mignon is truly the elegance of beef. It’s the epitome of “melt in your mouth” because that’s exactly what filet mignon is.
For more information about filet mignon you can find it here. As a food friend, filet mignon is my BFF. Can you tell?
Filet Mignon Sides
There are many filet mignon sides that would make it shine. Even though filet mignon is the star of the show, it needs a sidekick like these delightful potatoes.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, these perfectly roasted potatoes can be made in less than 30 minutes.
Like completing a puzzle, these little potatoes fit perfectly as a filet mignon side. Given how delicious and easy they are to prepare, I make these little darlings a lot!
I never tire of them because all that’s required is a little bit of oil, thyme, salt and pepper. That’s it!
On to a rimmed baking sheet they go and into the oven and boy oh boy are they incredible!
While the potatoes are in the oven, pan fry the best filet mignon at the same time. A breeze to make and so convenient too.
Even though we’re talking about a filet mignon recipe, I can’t say enough about how good these little potatoes are. Try them and see what I mean.
Steak Dinner Menu Idea
If you’re searching for a steak dinner menu idea, look no further. This beautiful Brandy Cream Filet Mignon recipe is not only easy, it’s timely!
Heat oil in your skillet.
Prepare potatoes (see picture above) and place in oven.
Make other vegetables of your choosing like carrots, green beans, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, fried onions, mushrooms.
Or make a salad like Caesar, garden, coleslaw, cucumber and tomato.
While potatoes are baking, cook the filet mignon in the pan.
Make the filet mignon sauce.
As the potatoes come out of the oven, the vegetables will be cooked, the beef will be resting and the sauce will be finished.
Medium Rare Filet Mignon Temperature
If you love medium-rare filet mignon, this Brandy Cream Filet Mignon recipe is just for you! The color of your filet mignon should be the right amount of pink.
For medium rare, the thermometer temperature should be between 130 to 135 degrees AFTER RESTING.
A medium rare filet mignon, MUST be removed from the heat and allowed to rest at the 125 degree mark.
Let your filet mignon rest for 5 minutes before serving. It will continue to cook.
Use the “touch” method to tell if your filet mignon is cooked by simply pressing the top of the meat.
If the filet mignon feels soft, mushy and leaves a finger imprint that stays, it’s rare.
For medium rare, it will be soft and when pressed, will slightly recoil or spring back.
As soon as the filet mignon feels firm, it’s past medium and closer to well done.
Another simple way of telling how well your filet mignon is cooked is by pressing the palm of your hand just below your thumb.
It will feel fleshy and soft. That’s what a raw filet mignon feels like.
Press your thumb and pointer finger together and with your other hand, feel the same spot again. Notice it feels a little firmer than it did when your fingers weren’t touching? That’s what a rare filet mignon or steak feels like to the touch.
With your thumb and middle finger touching, feel that spot on your hand becoming firmer. That’s what a medium rare filet mignon or steak feels like.
Try touching your thumb to your ring finger and notice the same spot is firmer again. You guessed it! That’s how a medium filet mignon or steak feels.
Touch your thumb to your baby finger and the same spot will feel firm. That, my friend, is what well done feels like.
It is shocking how accurate this test really is. When the opportunity arises, I urge you to check it out.
Well Done Filet Mignon
If a well done filet mignon is right for you, leave it in your skillet for an extra couple minutes per side.
A well done filet mignon needs to be removed from the heat at 150 degrees and reach a resting temperature of 160 degrees.
It will definitely be firm to the touch.
When I was younger, all red meat had to be well done, with no pink at all.
My dad never understood how anyone could eat a well done filet mignon. He said if you like shoe leather, it’s your teeth.
I’ve since graduated from medium rare to medium. He said it was a sign of maturity. 😂 My dad had a wicked sense of humor and I miss him terribly.
Included in this post are the temperatures at which the meat should be removed from the pan or oven and what the temperatures are at serving time.
As the meat rests, the temperature will climb by 5 to 15 degrees.
For the record, the temperature of steaks and burgers, while resting, will increase at a faster rate and in turn cool off at a faster rate than the temperature of roasts.
Perfect Filet Mignon Temperature Guide
|Degree of Doneness||Final Internal Temperature||Remove from heat at|
|Rare||130 degrees||120 degrees|
|Medium Rare||135 degrees||125 degrees|
|Medium||145 degrees||135 degrees|
|Medium Well||150 degrees||140 degrees|
|Well Done||160 degrees||150 degrees|
This temperature chart for beef is a great resource and one I use myself.
This chart has been adapted from What’s Cooking America and is terrific for explaining internal beef temperatures.
If you would like a copy of this chart feel free to save print a copy right here. BEEF TEMPERATURE CHART
|Degree of Doneness||Internal Temperature||Internal Description|
|Extra-rare or Blue (bleu)||80 to 100 degrees F
26 to 38 degrees C
|Deep red color and barely warm, feels soft and squishy|
|Rare||120 to 125 degrees F
49 to 51 degrees C
|For rare meat, cook until it registers 110 to 115 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion, and warm throughout, soft to touch|
|Medium Rare||130 to 135 degrees F
55 to 57 degrees C
|For medium-rare meat, cook until it registers 115 to 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion, and slightly hot, yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up|
|Medium||140 to 145 degrees F
60 to 63 degrees C
|For medium meat, cook until it registers 125 to 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Center is light pink, outer portion is brown, and hot throughout, yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up|
|Medium Well||150 to 155 degrees F
65 to 69 degrees C
|For medium-well meat, cook until it registers 135 to 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Mostly gray brown throughout with a hint of pink in the center, firm to touch|
|Well Done||160 degrees F and above
71 degrees C
|Steak is uniformly brown or grey throughout, firm or hard to touch|
|Brisket||165 to 175 degrees F
74 to 79 degrees C
|If the meat pulls apart easily, the brisket is ready to serve.|
|Pot Roast||180 degrees F
82 degrees C
|If the meat pulls apart easily, the pot roast is ready to serve. Also called fork tender.|
Patties – Meatloaf – Meatballs
|160 to 165 degrees F
71 to 74 degrees C
|For well-done meat, cook until it registers 145 to 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. For hamburger patties, insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the patty, all the way to the middle.|
Best Way to Cook Filet Mignon
There is no best way to cook filet mignon. Melt in your mouth goodness is your goal and sometimes it’s the little things that make the best filet mignon.
All it takes is a little fresh ground sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to bring a little life into your filet mignon.
Myself, the best way to cook filet mignon is either pan fried or how my husband prepares it on the barbecue. This post includes his instructions on how best to cook filet mignon on the grill.
Ken is a master griller and filet mignon is one of his specialties. When that barbecued smell of filet mignon permeates the air, the party begins!
That being said, pan fried filet mignon can’t be discounted as the taste is outstanding and the party is still on. Try both ways and let me know what your preference is. I can’t wait to hear your comments!
How to Make Filet Mignon
How to make filet mignon in a pan on your stove is what we’re going for here as I can’t stress enough just how unbelievably easy it is.
In addition, I’ve included the recipe on how to make these delightful mini or small potatoes as the timing of both dishes works out wonderfully.
Pan fried filet mignon and these mini potatoes are beyond gourmet compatible! Add a little color on the side with some simple vegetables like beans, peas or corn and you’ve got a creation that will be sure to impress!
First, the ingredients, then how to cook filet mignon on the stove.
Ingredients in Brandy Cream Filet Mignon
- mini potatoes
- fresh thyme
- filet mignons
- garlic cloves
- heavy or whipping cream
Other herb and spice suggestions
- cayenne pepper
- chili powder
- garlic and/or onion powder
- dry mustard
Remove filets from the fridge and let them sit on a platter for 30 minutes to an hour.
Start making your potatoes by preheating oven to 475 degrees. Ensure oven rack is in lower middle position.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a good size bowl, combine oil, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
Excess oil at high temperatures can cause your oven to smoke.
To avoid this, I highly recommend a neutral flavored oil that has a high smoke point such as canola, peanut, grapeseed or safflower.
Toss with potatoes until well coated and place on baking sheet..
Bake until tender and well browned; about 25 minutes.
How to Cook Filet Mignon in a Pan on Stove
Pat dry steaks with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
Cook filet mignons in skillet until they are browned and have an internal temperature of 125 degrees (medium-rare).
Transfer to platter and tent loosely with foil.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallots.
As they begin to soften add mushrooms, garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme.
Cook until softened and lightly browned; 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and add cream and brandy.
Return to element and bring to a simmer for 6 to 8 minutes on medium until the sauce is slightly thickened
Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
And there you have it. Enjoy every bite!
Filet Mignon Sauce
Truth be told, if cooked perfectly, filet mignon doesn’t need a sauce.
Even though that’s true, if you know me, I’m all about sauces and this filet mignon sauce is intoxicating!
While it may cost a little more to make than other sauces, consider it a treat as brandy cream is truly the secret sauce of filet mignon.
Such a wonderful recipe to have on hand for a perfect skillet cooked filet mignon each and every time.
With mushroom and shallots, this is one quality filet mignon sauce I can’t get enough of. Pour it over the potatoes and vegetables and you’ve got one classy, sassy meal!
Brandy Cream or Cognac Steak Sauce
Brandy cream or cognac steak sauce is profoundly indulgent and incredibly lovely with these potatoes and beef tenderloin.
The only reason I keep a small bottle of brandy in the house is to make the best filet mignon recipe in a pan a few times a year.
Drizzle brandy cream or cognac steak sauce over everything from asparagus to brussels sprouts to beans to broccoli!
While the filets are resting, make this brandy cream sauce in the same skillet you cooked the meat in so none of the flavors are missed.
Further enhance the flavors by adding shallots, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cream and brandy finish it off beautifully then simmer to reduce and thicken. Dust with a little salt and pepper to taste and there you have it!
Substitutes for Brandy in this Cream Sauce
You can always substitute an equal amount of
- apple juice
- white grape juice
How to and How Long to Grill Filet Mignon
- filet mignons, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, 6 to 8 ounces each
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Rinse and pat filets dry with paper towel.
Brush and clean all the grates.
Using tongs, grab a wad of paper towel, dipped in oil, and rub it all over the grates.
Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot; about 15 minutes.
Leave main burner on high and turn the other burners down to medium low.
Rub olive oil over the outside of each filet mignon.
About one tablespoon of olive oil per filet is enough.
Once oiled, GENEROUSLY sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Be really generous, even though you think you’re using too much).
Have a spray bottle filled with water handy to in case there are stubborn flames that need to be quickly extinguished.
Place filets, uncovered, on the highest set grill and slightly nudge the filet mignon with ease, then if it moves, quickly nudge it back in its place.
This is how to get the perfect grill marks the perfect sear on the outside of your filet mignon.
Between 2 to 3 minutes per side. Depending on how hot “high” is on your barbecue, the timing may vary by a minute in one direction or the other.
If grilling filet mignon the first time, suggest using a meat thermometer to see the timing.
Flip and do the same to the other side. The filet mignon should be browned and have beautiful grill lines on each side.
Place filet mignon on cooler side of the grill and barbecue until the filet is cooked just the way you want it.
For rare, another 3 minutes per side, 6 minutes total or 120 degrees.
For medium rare, between 7 and 8 minutes total or 125 degrees.
For medium, 9 to 10 minutes total or 135 degrees.
For medium well, 11 minutes and well done about 12 minutes.
Allow filets to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
For those interested in saving a copy of this easy method of grilling filet mignon, I’ve included it below.
Perfect Brandy Cream Filet Mignon
Perfect Brandy Cream Filet Mignon is the best how to recipe for pan fried beef tenderloin cooked on a stove, in creamy brandy or cognac sauce.
- 2 pounds mini potatoes, unpeeled, cut in half
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried leaves
Making the Filet Mignon
- sea salt or kosher salt if possible
- pepper, freshly ground if possible
- 4 6-8 oz. filet mignons, 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick
Filet Mignon Sauce
- 4 shallots, sliced into thin rings
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup brandy, cognac, rum, bourbon, apple or white grape juice
Remove filets from your fridge and let them come to room temperature on your counter for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat oven to 475 degrees and adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position.
In a large bowl, combine the oil, fresh thyme (1 tablespoon) or (1 teaspoon) dried leaves.
Toss the potatoes until they are completely coated.
Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the potatoes are well browned and tender in the middle. Excess oil on your baking sheet at high temperatures can cause your oven to possibly smoke. I highly recommend using a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point to avoid this potential problem. I typically will use canola or peanut oil, but other good options include grapeseed oil and safflower oil.
This should take about 25 minutes
Cooking your Filet Mignon
Pat steaks dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
On medium-high heat oil in skillet until water dances when flicked in it.
Add steaks and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, well browned and has an internal temperature of 125 degrees (this will make the filets medium rare).
Let it rest for 5 minutes. Your filet mignon will finish cooking while it rests on the platter. Do not cut into filets to check and see if they're done. Allow juices to escape on its own as you want as much juice as possible to stay inside your filet until ready to eat.
If you like your meat medium well or well done, simply leave the fllets in the skillet for a few more minutes per side. DO NOT WASH OR WIPE YOUR SKILLET.
Making your Filet Mignon Sauce
Add shallots to the same skillet, making sure you lower the temperature to medium.
When the vegetables start to soften, add mushroom, garlic and remaining fresh thyme.
Cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned and softened.
Remove the skillet from the heat and then add the cream and brandy.
Place the skillet back onto medium heat and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve steaks with sauce and potatoes. Enjoy!
For those of you interested in saving a copy of this easy method to grilling filet mignon, I have included a copy below for you if you would like to save it.