Reverse Sear Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Sauce
Today, I’m showing you how to reverse sear filet mignon for a romantic dinner situation! Topped with creamy brandy peppercorn sauce, this is one of my favorite elevated, but simple, recipes for date-night at home or elegant dinner parties with friends. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and let’s treat ourselves to a steak dinner!
But, I have a special place in my heart for filet mignon. I honestly find no dish more romantic so naturally, it’s my go-to whenever I’m feeling lovey-dovey. And then there’s the creamy peppercorn sauce which honestly? I could drink it. No shame.
Let’s pour some wine, light some candles, and make steak!
Why this steak is the best
I first learned how to reverse sear steak back when I was in culinary school and honestly? It ruined me on steakhouses. This cooking method by far makes the best steak I’ve ever had, every single time.
- The filet mignon is rich, tender, buttery, and so flavorful.
- Thanks to the reverse searing method, the steak comes out perfect every single time.
- The brandy peppercorn sauce is creamy and elevates the steak even more.
- Make this recipe for date night, special occasions, or elegant dinner parties. It’s the best!
Beef tenderloin vs filet mignon
Filet mignon and beef tenderloin look similar so it can be a bit confusing to tell the two apart when you’re choosing a cut of steak. But, they’re not the same thing. Tenderloin is a large cut of meat that comes from the back of the cow near the sirloin. Filet mignon is a small part of the beef tenderloin that comes from the tip. While the entire tenderloin is absolutely delicious, filet mignon is ridiculously tender, rich, and delicious!
Reverse seared steaks
- Filet mignon – look for steaks that are around 6-8 ounces each. You can usually find them at any grocery store, but I recommend visiting the butcher for the best steaks possible!
- Salt and pepper – you’ll want to use freshly-ground black pepper and Kosher salt. I use Morton’s Kosher salt. Filet is pricey, so you definitely don’t want to use table salt which is way too salty.
- Neutral oil – you’ll want something with a high smoking point like avocado, canola, or vegetable oil. The high smoke point is essential for getting a nice crust on the steak.
- Butter – a hint of unsalted butter will add extra richness to the filets. I definitely recommend a high-quality butter for the best flavor.
Brandy peppercorn sauce
- Shallot – to give the sauce a hint of sweetness. I like shallots instead of onions because you don’t want this sauce to taste overly oniony.
- Garlic – I like adding a bit of garlic for extra savory flavor.
- Flour – all-purpose flour is key for thickening the sauce.
- Brandy – the brandy adds depth and gives the sauce a unique, smoky flavor.
- Beef broth – use a good-quality low-sodium beef broth so you can control the salt.
- Heavy whipping cream – this is what makes the sauce nice and creamy!
- Dijon mustard – a spoonful of mustard is optional but gives the sauce a little tang.
- Peppercorns – make sure you’re using freshly-crushed peppercorns! I used black in this recipe.
For the best filet, look for steaks that are lightly marbled, bright red, and have don’t have any silver skin. If there are any large chunks of fat or silver skin, make sure to trim it off. You don’t want the filets to have any bites that are chewy or gristle-y.
- Steak – I like filet mignon, but this method also works for ribeye, New York strip, tenderloin steak, or any other thick cut. Just keep in mind you’ll have to adjust the cook time depending on the size of the steak.
- Gluten-free – replace the flour with a 1-to-1 gluten-free replacement like Cup4Cup.
- Alcohol – feel free to use cognac or bourbon instead.
- Alcohol-free – if you don’t like cooking with alcohol, you can sub it with more beef broth.
- Peppercorns – green, pink, or tri-color will also taste great in the sauce.
How to make this recipe
Prep & cook the steaks
- Start by trimming any silver skin or large chunks of fat off of the filets. Pat the steaks dry.
- Then, season the steaks generously with Kosher salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Once the steaks are brined, remove them from the fridge and season them with pepper. Let them warm up for 15-30 minutes.
- Bake the filets at 225°F (107°C) until they reach 110°F (43°C) for medium-rare, about 25-28 minutes depending on the thickness of the steaks.
- Transfer the steaks to a plate and rest for 5-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the neutral oil and butter until it’s shimmering. Sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side, flipping often, until they have a nice brown crust. Rest for 5-8 minutes while you make the sauce.
Brandy peppercorn sauce
- Sauté the shallot in the leftover oil-butter mixture until it’s softened. Then, add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and cook until it’s mostly reduced.
- Pour the beef broth into the pan and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.
- Add the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and peppercorns. Stir well and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and enjoy!
You want to cook the filets low and slow. The low temperature (225°F or 107°C) naturally tenderizes the meat so it comes out with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. If the heat is too high, the filets will dry out!
The secret to nailing steak is to pay very close attention to the temperature. Here’s a little guide to help!
|Oven Internal Temp
|Searing Internal Temp
*For tender, juicy filet mignon, don’t cook the steak past medium. I recommend medium rare!
I live and die by my meat thermometer. It’s 100% the best way to make sure that the steaks are perfectly cooked. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, it’s better to err on the side of undercooking the steaks than overcooking them. You can always sear them for longer if-needed.
Serving & side dish ideas
- Instead of serving the filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, try topping the steaks with compound butter, blue cheese, or frizzled onions.
- Serve the steaks with cheesy garlic mashed potatoes or shalloty domino potatoes.
- Rice pilaf with orzo or garlic butter dinner rolls also make excellent sides.
- Add veggies like caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon, lemony green beans, charred broccoli, or hot honey Brussels sprouts.
- For summer sides, try antipasto tortellini salad, raw carrot salad, or nectarine watermelon feta salad.
Storing, make-ahead, & reheating
To store leftover steak, place it in an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 3-4 days.
You can also make the sauce in advance! Just spoon the sauce into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. I don’t recommend making the steak in advance though, because it will cook even more when you reheat it. For the best results, make the filet mignon fresh!
But, if you do have leftover steak, my favorite reheating method is in the oven! Place the steaks on a sheet pan and bake them at 225°F for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. If you want to re-crisp the outside, you can also sear the steaks again for about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side.
Filet mignon really is best fresh. Since it’s a more expensive cut of steak, you don’t want it to over-cook it. For the best results, make the steaks right before you’re ready to serve!
Tips & tricks
- Let your steaks come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help the steaks cook consistently so they are perfectly browned on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Don’t be afraid to season the steaks generously with Kosher salt. Meat can handle a lot of salt, and it’s important to properly season the filets to bring out all the delicious flavors!
- For even searing, flip the steaks every 20-30 seconds. After about 4 total minutes, they’ll have a lovely browned crust on the outside.
- Let the steaks rest after baking and after searing. Resting gives the steaks time to relax and redistribute the juices throughout the meat. If you slice the steak right away, it will dry out the meat.
What is reverse searing?
Reverse searing is when you slow-cook meat (usually beef) low-and-slow in the oven or grill. Then, it’s finished by searing the meat in a cast iron skillet until it gets that gorgeous crisp crust on the outside. It’s a super easy, foolproof way to make sure your steak comes out great every time.
Is reverse searing better?
This is totally up to personal opinion, but I think yes. I’ve never ever overcooked a steak using the reverse searing method! Reverse searing lets you control the temperature of the meat so you don’t overcook it. It usually ends up being being more consistently cooked, tender, and flavorful!
How long do you reverse sear steak?
The amount of time and temperature will depend on the thickness of your steaks. You will want to cook the meat low-and-slow, between 200-250°F (93-121°C). I usually split the difference and cook filet mignon at 225°F. Start checking for doneness around 20 minutes, but keep in mind, it could take up to 30 minutes for the steaks to hit the right temperature.
What is the best wine with filet mignon?
My absolute go-to is Pinot Noir because it’s light and creamy which perfectly complements the buttery filet. But other dry reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, or Malbec would be great choices too!
Also, I know red wine is more traditional with beef, but if you’re a white wine fan, don’t let that stop you. Oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Champagne, dry Riesling, or Pinot Grigio can all cut through the richness of steak!
More beef recipes
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Reverse Sear Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Sauce
Reverse Seared Filet Mignon
- 4 filet mignon steaks (6-8 ounces each/168-225 grams each)
- Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or avocado oil (14 milliliters)
- 1 Tablespoon good-quality unsalted butter (14 grams)
Brandy Peppercorn Sauce
- 1/4 cup minced shallots (35 grams/1 small shallot)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 large cloves)
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (8 grams)
- 1/4 cup brandy (55 milliliters)
- 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth (170 milliliters)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (130 milliliters)
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 grams)
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
- Drine brine (optional) – Line a sheet pan with tinfoil or parchment paper, and place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Generously season the steaks with Kosher salt, and place them on top of the cooling rack. Let the steaks sit uncovered on the counter for 1 hour, or place them in the fridge uncovered overnight. If you refrigerate the steaks, let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. (The dry brine step is optional but highly recommend for extra flavor & crisp crust.)
- Bake the steaks – Preheat the oven to 225°F (107°C). Place the steaks directly on the tinfoil or parchment paper and season both sides generously with freshly-ground black pepper. Place the steaks in the oven, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers 110-115°F (43-46°C) for medium rare, about 25-28 minutes. I start checking for doneness at 20 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a plate and let them rest for 5-8 minutes.
- Sear the steaks – Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil, and tilt the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Once the oil-butter mixture is very hot and starts to shimmer, place the steaks in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes per side, flipping every 30 seconds, until the outside is evenly browned and has a nice crust. Transfer the steak to a clean plate, and let them rest for 5-8 minutes.
Brandy Peppercorn Sauce
- Sauté the shallots – While the steak rests, make the sauce. Using the same skillet that you seared the steaks in, pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of pan drippings. Return the pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan – Stir the flour into the shallot mixture and cook for 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, using a wood spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Simmer until the brandy is mostly reduced, about 2 minutes.
- Simmer the sauce – Add the beef broth and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, cooking until it’s slightly thickened and reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, Dijon mustard, and ground peppercorns and stir until smooth. Simmer the sauce for about 2 minutes until it’s slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon the warm sauce over the steaks and enjoy!
xo Sara Lynn
Song of the day – Crazy Love by Van Morrison