David's Favorite Recipes

D. Sculley’s Perfect Filet Mignon


My son D. Sculley, a computer scientist, has perfected this filet mignon recipe. You may find other, similar recipes on the Internet, but this one always works to perfection on what some people consider the best cut of meat in the world. I like the final flourish of topping my steak with a pat of butter that melts and mingles with the well-seasoned meat juices to form a simple, delicious sauce.


2 (6-to-8-ounce) filets mignons, each about 2 inches thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)


Bring the meat to room temperature and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof stainless-steel or cast-iron sauté pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the oil gets very hot to the point where you begin to see slight wisps of smoke. Add the filets and brown them on one side for exactly 4 minutes.

With tongs, flip the steaks over and immediately place the pan in the preheated oven. Cook the steaks for another 6 minutes for medium rare.

Using an ovenproof glove, carefully remove the pan from the oven and, with tongs, transfer the filets to a clean plate. Cover them tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Then, serve them immediately, topping each with 1 tablespoon of butter, spooning the hot juices over the butter to melt it.