The perfect Fillet
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Ever wondered how to cook the perfect fillet? Once you know these tricks and learn about this cut, it's a piece of cake!
The best cut of beef there is of course, the fillet is shaped like a cone, with a head, a heart and a tail. It is used for fillet steaks, or raw for Tartare (the very end of the fillet, finely minced) or Carpaccio (cut in very fine, almost transparent slices).
Chateaubriand: thick slices from the head of 400gr each, usually one is perfect for 2 people.
Tournedos: thick medallions from the heart of the fillet, 2-3cm thick and 150-200gr each.
Filets mignon: thick smaller medallions from the tail of the fillet, a couple per person.
Temperature and cooking guidelines:
The fillet has no fat and does not retain moisture, therefore it is best served rare or medium rare to retain as much moisture as possible and remain as soft as possible (it will be as soft as butter!). To cook it always use a heavy pan (better even an iron skillet), and wait until the pan and the oil (or butter) is really very hot, so that you will achieve quickly a very nice crust which will prevent leaking of the moisture.
Tournedos will cook per these times according to your taste (always start from the meat at room temperature!):
Rare: 2ms per side, core temperature 45C degrees
Medium rare: 3mins 30secs per side, core temperature 50C degrees
Medium: 4mins 30secs per side, core temperature 60C degrees
Well done: 5mins 30secs per side, core temperature 70C degrees
To retain moisture and shape, tie it tightly along the edges with a kitchen string (not rubber or plastic, just natural fiber) and after cooking let it rest under some aluminium foil for 5 minutes.