Sear a Filet Mignon Roast

Category: Food & Drink

Sear a Filet Mignon Roast

The filet mignon roast is one of those decadent cuts of beef usually reserved for special occasions. Also known the beef tenderloin roast, it's notorious for its tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Quickly searing the roast over high heat creates a nicely-browned, caramelized crust while preserving the delicate, juicy interior. Because the filet mignon roast is very low in fat, it has a rather mild flavor. Searing the roast produces complex flavor compounds which prevents this expensive cut from tasting bland. Seared beef tenderloin can be served warm or at room temperature.

Things You'll Need

  • Filet mignon roast (beef tenderloin)
  • Paper towels
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried herbs and spices (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Large skillet
  • Instant-read thermometer


  • Trim the roast of any excess fat and remove the layer of opaque, white connective tissue, called the silverskin. You can also ask your butcher to trim the roast for you in advance. Let the roast rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. If you're using a whole roast, about 7 or 8 lbs., cut it in half for easier handling.

  • Pat the roast dry with a few sheets of paper towels. It is essential that the surface of the roast is dry to encourage a nicely-browned, seared crust. Rub it liberally with salt, pepper and any other dried herbs or spices you enjoy. Thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder all work nicely.

  • Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large nonstick or cast iron skillet and heat over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the roast and sear on all sides. Avoid fiddling with the meat and flipping it repeatedly. Allowing it to cook, relatively undisturbed, will produce the best sear. Ideally, the surface of the roast will be nicely caramelized with a browned, slightly crisp, crust. Cooking times will differ depending on the size of the roast and your desired doneness, so your best bet is using an instant-read thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature. Remove the meat from the skillet when it reaches 115 degrees for rare, 120 degrees for medium-rare, and 125 degrees for medium. The meat's internal temperature will continue to rise after it has been removed from heat.

  • Remove the roast from the skillet and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Slice it against the grain and serve.

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