The 5 Best Ways To Prepare Filet Mignon

From that first, buttery bite, you're hooked. Filet mignon is the ultimate dish to serve at your next dinner party or special occasion. To get the same "wow" factor as the lavish steakhouses this sophisticated cut of meat is so indelibly tied to, we have done our homework and determined a list of the five best ways to prepare filet mignon.

Click here for the 5 best ways to prepare filet mignon slideshow.

Whether you serve your filet mignon dish with a rich red wine sauce, like this one that uses lots of dry red wine, or top with a blue cheese crumble, like this recipe for a crab and blue cheese steak topper that brings a whole new meaning to surf and turf, filet mignon adds decadence to your dinner.

Cooking a filet is not as hard as it seems. To cook a steak properly, you need to understand temperatures. Whether you prefer your steak well-done or rare, nothing is more disappointing than cutting into it only to find it needs more or less cooking time. Some important temperatures to note if you are using an instant-read meat thermometer are: 120 to 125 degrees F  for rare, 130 to 135 degrees F for medium rare, 140 to 145 degrees F for medium, 150 to 155 degrees F for medium well, and 160 degrees F and above for well-done.

The most important tip to remember is to liberally season your filet with salt and pepper or any other herbs your recipes calls for. Filets have less fat than many other cuts of meat, which is why they are so tender, but also why they need a little more help from the seasonings to enhance the flavor.

The final tip to remember when cooking a filet — or any meat, for that matter — is to rest your meat after cooking. Usually, this means pulling your steak out of the oven, off the grill or out of the pan when your thermometer is about three to five degrees from your ideal temperature. Then, rest the meat on a plate; you can loosely tent with tin foil if you choose. The meat will continue to cook a few more degrees during this time, and the juices remaining in the meat will have time to redistribute, giving you a juicy bite of filet mignon when you do finally sit down for dinner.

For whatever your dinner party plans, we have the five best ways to prepare filet mignon, from the grill to the oven, for each of your special occasions.

1. Crusted

Filet mignon has less fat marbling than other cuts, which makes it tenderer and gives it a mild flavor. Spice up your filet with dry rubs and crusts. The tender cut of meat is well served by this dramatic burst of flavor, and your dry rub will form a wonderful crust.

Coffee-Crusted Filet Mignon with a Jalapeño Coffee Reduction

Spicy and hearty, this filet mignon recipe is sure to satisfy the steak and coffee connoisseur(s) in your life who want a little something different for dinner. — Amanda MacT

For the Coffee Crusted Filet Mignon with Jalapeño Coffee Reduction recipe, click here.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.