Filets Mignons with Watercress and Parmesan Butter

Cook, Dinner, Mains, Recipes

In this recipe for filets mignons, which is started on the stove top and 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.


Filets Mignons with Watercress and Parmesan Butter




For the Parmesan butter:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and coarsely cracked pepper

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 filets mignons, each about 3/4 lb. (375 g) and 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick, patted dry with paper towels
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups (4 oz./120 g) watercress
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves



1. To make the Parmesan butter, in a mini food processor, combine the butter, cheese, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. 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.)


2. To make the vinaigrette, in a jar, combine the vinegar with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and shake until well blended. Set aside.


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


4. Heat a large, ovenproof fry 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 2 1/2 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.


5. Preheat an 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° to 135°F (54° to 57°C) for medium-rare, 11 to 12 minutes, or until done to your liking. Place the steaks on the rack and let rest, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes.


6. While the steaks rest, put the watercress in a large bowl and drizzle lightly with some of the vinaigrette (you won’t need all of it). Toss to lightly coat the leaves with the dressing.


7. 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. Serves 4.




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Filets Mignons with Watercress and Parmesan Butter
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  1. Filets Mignons with Watercress and Parmesan Butter – Recipes

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