I made Ina Garten's 5-ingredient steak recipe. The filet mignon was just as good as some of the meals I've had at steak houses.

  • I tried making Ina Garten's five-star-rated simple steak recipe at home.

  • Garten's recipe called for only five ingredients: filet mignon, oil, butter, salt, and pepper.

  • The recipe was simple to execute and resulted in perfectly cooked filet mignon.

My family and I love going out to restaurants like The Capital Grille and Ruth's Chris for a steak dinner.

But, as a family of four, we know going out to eat can be pricey — the average monthly cost of dining out is nearly $170 per person. When my husband, two teenagers, and I go out to eat, we usually spend more than that each month.

To save some cash and try to replicate a high-end meal on my own, I made Ina Garten's recipe for restaurant-quality steaks, which requires filet mignon and a few simple ingredients.

Here's what it was like to make the simple filet-mignon recipe in my kitchen.

Garten's steak recipe uses just five ingredients.

A white plate with two filet mignons, a stick of butter, a small cup of Maldon salt, a pepper grinder, and a blue dispenser filled with olive oil on a brown stone table
The recipe required steak, butter, salt, vegetable oil, and pepper.Terri Peters

The ingredient list for Garten's restaurant-quality steak recipe was simple: four pieces of filet mignon, four tablespoons of butter, and two tablespoons each of vegetable oil, fleur de sel, and black pepper.

For this recipe, I purchased two filets weighing about half a pound each. I couldn't find fleur de sel at my local grocery store, so I used flaky Maldon sea salt.

The difference? Fleur de sel is a type of sea salt that's hand-harvested in France, and Maldon sea salt is harvested in England. Both types of salt are light and flaky, so I figured this substitution would work well.

I tied my filet mignon to help the meat keep its shape.

Two raw filet mignon steaks with brown kitchen twine tied around them so they are in circular shapes on a white plate
I tied the steaks using butcher's twine.Terri Peters

Garten's recipe called for tying each filet mignon around its perimeter to keep the steaks in a traditional oval shape.

After some research online, I discovered tying filet-mignon steaks promotes even cooking and keeps all cuts the same size for an aesthetically pleasing presentation. I used butcher's twine to tie the steaks into an oval shape.

Next, I prepared to cook the steaks in a skillet.

Two raw filet mignon steaks with brown kitchen twine tied around the sides next to a cast iron pan on a brown stone countertop
I planned to cook the steaks in a large cast-iron pan.Terri Peters

A cast-iron pan is one of my favorite kitchen tools, so I was excited to bring it out for this meal. Though I was cooking only two filets, I thought my relatively large cast-iron pan would give each piece of meat plenty of room to cook.

While the skillet heated up, I patted the steaks dry and coated them with oil, salt, and pepper.

Two raw filet mignon steaks sprinkled with salt and pepper on a white plate, with tongs around one of the steaks. A bowl of salt and a glass with rosemary sprigs sit next to the plate
I coated the steaks with the seasonings.Terri Peters

I preheated my cast-iron skillet over high heat for about five minutes. While the skillet was heating up, I patted the tied filet mignon dry and coated it in a thin layer of vegetable oil.

Using tongs to prevent my hands from getting messy, I dipped each steak in a salt-and-pepper mixture to add flavor.

Next, I seared the steaks on all sides.

A hand holds a pair of tongs around a filet mignon steak in a cast iron pan, as a seared steak sits next to it
My kitchen got a bit smoky as the steaks cooked.Terri Peters

I added the steaks once my pan was hot enough for water droplets to instantly evaporate. I seared them for about two minutes on each side, including the meat's outer edges.

The instructions said to keep the house well-ventilated, and I can see why.

An open white door leading to a patio with a stone ground, a table, and a backyard with a pool, palm trees, and white chairs
I opened my patio door while I seared the steaks.Terri Peters

Searing oiled cuts of steak at high heat created lots of smoke, so I was sure to open my patio door and use a portable fan to blow some of it out of the kitchen.

By taking these measures, my house didn't smell like smoky, cooked steak for days, and the air in my home was clear.

Once the steaks were seared, it was time to cook them in the oven with some butter.

Two seared steaks in a cast iron skillet with large pads of butter and sprigs of rosemary on top of them
I placed butter and rosemary sprigs on the seared steaks.Terri Peters

After searing, it was time to put the steaks in the oven, which I'd preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I topped each filet with a tablespoon of butter, per Garten's recipe, and added fresh rosemary from my garden.

The recipe said to leave the steaks in the oven until they reached an internal temperature of 120 degrees (for rare) or 125 degrees (for medium-rare). My steaks took about 10 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees.

When the filets were at the right temperature, I took them out of the oven to rest.

A cooked steak with a sprig of rosemary on it and a meat thermometer with a green digital screen. The steak sits in a cast iron skillet
I cooked my steaks until they reached a medium-rare temperature.Terri Peters

Once they were done, I removed the steaks from the oven, placed them on a cutting board, and covered them in aluminum foil.

I let the steaks rest for 10 minutes so the juices had time to evenly distribute through each cut of meat. Then, it was time to remove the butcher's twine, slice the filets, and serve.

The steaks came out perfectly medium-rare and were easy to slice.

A large knife slicing into a filet mignon. The meat is pink and sits on a wooden cutting board
I sliced through the steaks very easily.Terri Peters

The filets came out perfectly, slicing easily and appearing just as beautiful and pink as medium-rare filets I've ordered at steak houses. I served them alongside baked potatoes.

Besides the recipe's simplicity, I was most impressed with how tender each filet came out. The meat was flavorful and juicy, and each steak's salty exterior was savory and delicious.

Most filet mignons I've had at restaurants had similar crispy exteriors and buttery-soft centers. These homemade steaks provided restaurant-quality yumminess.

I'd follow Garten's method for cooking steak again.

The writer wears a black tank top and smiles while holding a wooden cutting board of rare filet mignon steak slices
I was delighted with the finished steaks.Terri Peters

Based on my experience trying Garten's recipe for restaurant-quality steaks, I'd definitely use this method again.

This process was quick and easy to follow, and the ingredients were so simple that I already had almost everything in my pantry and refrigerator.

I thought the finished steaks were truly as delicious as those I've had at restaurants. Paired with a good baked potato, I'd have thought I was dining at a steak house, not in my own home.

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