Thick steaks require a variation on the classic sautéing technique. The method begins on the stovetop, with a bit more heat than you might use when cooking chicken, fish, or vegetables. That’s because you really want to put a dark brown crust on the steaks.
But if the steaks are much thicker than an inch, the pan will start to burn before the interior comes up to temperature. The solution is simple: Move the browned steaks to a preheated sheet pan in the oven. After just a few minutes in a hot oven, the interior temperature of the steaks will rise. Meanwhile, you can use the empty skillet to prepare a quick pan sauce or, as in this recipe, you can finish the steaks with a flavorful compound butter.
In this recipe, you will also learn how to create a potent (but not fiery) pepper crust that adds interest to otherwise mild-tasting filet mignon. Of course, you can skip the crust and use this basic method to cook other more flavorful steaks (we recommend strip or rib-eye steaks).
Total Cooking Time: 120
Preparation Time: 15
Active Cooking Time: 45
Make Ahead: Serve immediately
Yield: 4 servings