The middle of a steak filet should be pink when cooked to medium. Filet steak cooked to a medium-well should look pinkish-brown. Cook beef to medium to prevent foodborne illness. A medium-cooked filet retains more of its natural juices and flavor than when cooked to well-done. Add more flavor your steak by smoking, seasoning and dipping in steak sauce.
Remove filet steaks from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking and place them on a clean dish. This takes some of the chill out of the meat, which improves the tenderness of the filets.
Pat the filets with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture. The water content creates a barrier between the heat source and steak.
Baste both sides of the filets with vegetable or sunflower oil. Avoid using olive oil, which burns at low temperatures.
Season the filets with salt, pepper or paprika.
Place a large frying pan on a large stove burner and turn the burner on medium-high heat. Let the burner and pan heat up for about two minutes. You can heat the pan for up to 10 minutes, which smokes the frying pan and creates a smoky flavor for the fillets. If you decide to create the smoky flavor and heat the frying pan for 10 minutes, open the windows and turn on the stove fan.
Place the steak filets on the frying pan. Move the filets around after 30 seconds so that the steak doesn’t stick to the frying pan. Cook the filets for five minutes on each side, bringing them up to medium doneness. The middle of the steak should be dark to light pink and the outside should be greyish-brown. For additional browning, cook the filets seven minutes on each side for medium well-done filet steak.
Check the internal temperature of the filets before removing the steak from the pan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking all beef to at least a “medium,” with an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the internal temperature has not reached 140, continue to cook and take the temperature in one-minute increments.
Remove the filets from the frying pan, place on a serving dish and wait at least three minutes before carving or eating. Meat continues cooking somewhat once removed from its heat source, so let the meat cool and rest before eating.
- Morton's The Cookbook:100 Steakhouse Recipes for Every Kitchen; Klaus Fritsch
- Exploratorium: How Can You Tell When A Steak Is Done?