What is fillet steak?
A truly exquisite cut of beef, the fillet steak comes from the lower middle part of the back and sits inside the sirloin. As this muscle does not bear the cow’s weight, it’s not exercised, giving it an incredible and unique tenderness.
Despite its melt-in-the-mouth texture, a fillet steak is a lean cut of meat with a milder, more subtle taste than a rump or sirloin. Our fillet steaks, prepared from older traditional cattle breeds, buck this trend somewhat and pack more flavour than most.
The word fillet is derived from the French term “fillet”, which translates to “thick slice”. As this implies, fillet steaks are traditionally cut into thicker slices compared to other steaks, about 4cm or 1.5 inches. This is because the surface area is restricted by the small diameter of the round tenderloin.
How long to cook a fillet steak
We think medium-rare is the perfect way to enjoy a fillet steak. We advise around 6-8 minutes of cooking time to achieve this stage of doneness. Don’t be afraid to touch your steaks — your fingers and eyes are the best tools to judge cooking times (see Top tips below).
How to cook fillet steak medium-rare
- Take your fillet steaks out of the refrigerator.
- Remove your meat from the vacuum packaging and pat dry any moisture. Allow it to come up to room temperature.
- Heat a griddle or heavy-based frying pan until smoking hot.
- Just prior to cooking, rub olive oil over both sides of the steaks and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the steaks in the pan and brown them on both sides, around 90 seconds per side. The steaks will naturally release from the pan when a crust has formed, so if they adhere to the pan at all, wait a few moments and try again (a rich, golden crust should have formed).
- Turn the heat down a touch and cook for a total of 6-8 minutes, turning the steaks approx. every 90 seconds throughout.
- Remove the steaks from the frying pan and leave them to rest in a warm place for a minimum of 5 minutes.
- To gauge how done your meat is while cooking, you can carry out a quick and reliable finger test to ensure it is medium-rare. Gently press the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. Feel the palm of your hand just below your thumb – this is medium-rare. It should feel like your cheek: tender and soft but still fleshy.
Fillet steak recipe
Stick to the classics, and you can’t ever go wrong. Fillet steak in red wine sauce is a match made in heaven.