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Filets Mignons with Watercress & Parmesan Butter Recipe

We’ve found your perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! Cut in to this delicious, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth filets mignon topped with parmesan butter. This romantic meal can be found in NEWLYWED ENTERTAINING by Williams-Sonoma.

Here, filet mignon, one of the most lauded cuts of beef, is cooked first on the stove top, then finished in the oven. The Parmesan butter melts over the warm meat, complementing its richness and adding an appealing nuttiness. Don’t be tempted to use a nonstick pan for this recipe; it can’t achieve the heat level you need for excellent browning.


6 Tbsp (3 oz/90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
½ cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and coarsely cracked pepper

4 filets mignons, each about ¾ lb (375 g) and 1½ inches (4 cm) thick, patted dry with paper towels
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
About 4 cups (4 oz/120 g) watercress, lightly dressed with Basic Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

To make the Parmesan butter, in a mini food processor, combine the butter, cheese, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pulse until smooth. Set aside at room temperature. (At this point, the butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Rub both sides of the steaks with olive oil. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

Heat a large, ovenproof frying pan over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Generously season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Add enough olive oil to the pan to coat the bottom, and reduce the heat to medium-high. When the oil is shimmering, use tongs to place the steaks in the pan so they do not touch. Cook without moving for 2½ minutes. Turn the steaks and cook for 2 minutes more. Place the steaks on a rack set over a plate and let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Set the pan aside.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Return the steaks to the pan, place in the oven,and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a steak registers 130°–135°F (54°–57°C) for medium-rare, 11–12 minutes, or until done to your liking. Place the steaks on the rack and let rest, uncovered, for 3–5 minutes.

Arrange the steaks on plates and top each with a large spoonful of Parmesan butter. Nestle the watercress alongside each steak, sprinkle with the thyme, and serve.

End the night with a vanilla cheesecake with strawberries.


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