Special occasions call for special meals, like a steak dinner. That doesn’t mean you have to splurge on a fancy steakhouse. Bring the steakhouse home with this recipe for filet mignon with peach mango cilantro sauce and grilled sweet onions. Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or just planning a fancy date night, this recipe is sure to impress your guests and satisfy your tastebuds. Read on for my tips and tricks and you’ll be a master of steak in no time.
This past week was my husband’s birthday and it made me realize that while filet mignon is our go to for a fancy celebration at home, I have never shared any of my steak recipes here. That all changes today with this filet mignon with peach mango cilantro sauce and grilled sweet onions.
This combination was originally created with a tri-tip, but the flavor combination was so delicious I had to revisit it with filet mignon for James’s birthday. I am so happy I did, as the result was one of my favorite steak dinners yet.
The sauce is bright and refreshing with an fruity, herbal flavor. The onions are a classic, with a tangy sweetness and slight crunch that balances the richness of the meat. All together this meal has a flavor combination that has summer written all over it. Try it for your next special occasion. You won’t be disappointed.
Cooking Steak at Home
When it comes to mastering steak at home, it can be intimidating. Steak, especially filet mignon, is expensive, so you want it to turn out perfectly on the first try. The two most important things for cooking a great steak are to use a tried and true method, and invest in a good meat thermometer. Even the best of chefs can struggle with getting steak done perfectly without a thermometer. Read on for the method I trust and my recommendation on meat thermometers.
The Reverse Sear
When a chef cooks a steak, they approach it from two different angles. On one hand, you want to get a great sear on the outside of the steak. On the other, you want the internal temperature to be exact, based on how your diner likes their steak. Often this means searing the outside in a pan, then finishing the steak in the oven. I prefer to flip this method on it’s head, with a method called the reverse sear.
For the reverse sear you start by cooking the inside of the steak (phase 1) and finish it off by searing the outside (phase 2). The most noticeable difference is that the reverse sear results in a thinner gray band. If you are unfamiliar with that term, the gray band is the section of meat that is between the seared outside and the perfectly pink/red center. The smaller that band, the more perfectly cooked meat you have in your steak.
Steak Seasoning Trick
One of my favorite seasoning tricks for steak is to season the cutting board then roll the meat into the seasonings. I like it because it saves me time while also reducing the risk for cross contamination – my pepper mill takes two hands and I’m not touching it without washing my hands after I’ve touched the meat.
Instead of seasoning one side of the meat then having to roll it over to season the other sides, you season the meat and sprinkle enough across the cutting board to cover the rest of the meat. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the steak, then roll it across the seasonings making sure to cover all sides, not just the top and bottom.
Steak Cooking Temperatures
The most important part of the steak is getting it to your ideal internal temperature. For filet mignon, that temperature is 125 degrees or medium rare. This cut of meat is very tender, but it doesn’t have a lot of fat in it. Over cook it too much and you’ll have some very expensive shoe leather.
If you prefer your steak further cooked, that is your preference, but in order to get to your ideal temperature you will need a good meat thermometer. I personally own 3 different kinds. Two of them have probes that can stay in during the entire cooking process, one of them specifically designed for my oven and the other is attached to a digital display with a remote. The third is a handheld instant read thermometer. When grilling, I use both the attached probe and instant read.
For a reverse sear, you want to the internal temperature to be about 15 degrees less than the desired temperature at the end of phase one. For medium rare, that means 110 degrees. This is where the attached display style thermometer comes in handy. You insert the probe when you start cooking and watch the display without having to constantly disrupt the heat by opening the grill or oven. Once it gets to 110 degrees you can pull the meat off, then use the handheld thermometer to make sure you reach 125 degrees after the steak is seared.
To do a reverse sear in the oven, you need to cook the steak over indirect medium heat. With a gas grill this means that some burners should be at medium or medium high heat, while others should be off. My grill has three burners. For this recipe I put the one on the right to medium for the onions, the one in the middle to medium high, and left the one on the left off. Once the steak reached 110 degrees I pulled it off, turned the left burner to high, preheated it for 5 minutes, then used the left section to sear the steak.
Adapting for the Oven
If grilling isn’t your thing, you can easily move the party indoors and make a great reverse seared steak in the oven. Set the oven to 250 degrees and use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet. Roast the steak in the oven until it reaches 110 degrees then pull it out. Remove the steak from the pan and heat the pan over a medium high heat. Once it’s hot add a little butter and oil, then sear all sides of the steak. Again, check the internal temperature to make sure it reaches 125 when you are done searing.
Onions on the grill aren’t new or fancy. You can use a grill basket or even a cast iron skillet over the grill to get the job done, but there is something about the direct flame that makes them taste so good.
In order to grill onions directly on the grate without having them fall apart, I use some simple wooden skewers. Soak them in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning through. Slice the onions thick, then use two skewers running parallel to hold all the layers together. The extra skewer makes it easier to handle as the onions cook and soften.
Peach Mango Cilantro Sauce
This sauce was a happy experiment as a result of needing to use up a peach, mango, and cilantro before they went bad. It’s so simple, but adds a bunch of flavor that tastes great with grilled meat. I’d also eat it with chicken, pork, salmon, or even shrimp. For more peach mango flavor, check out my recipe for Steamed Artichokes with Spicy Peach Mango Sauce.
You will need to use a full sized blender or food processor to get the right texture. Chopping it by hand would take far too much time and effort. The mango should be peeled, but the peach does not. For the cilantro you can use the stems, but I would recommend trimming the bottom inch or two off before tossing them in.
If you’ve read this far and dislike cilantro, you can easily use parsley or basil in it’s place. Remove any thick or fibrous stems and substitute with the same amount of herbs.
Filet Mignon with Peach Mango Cilantro Sauce Recipe
Perfect for celebrations this is the perfect recipe for a summer meal. Whether it’s date night, a birthday, anniversary, or other milestone this meal will impress your guests and tantalize your tastebuds. Try it with my Screaming Skillet Green Beans and follow it with my Citrus Dream Tart for a complete meal.
The recipe is written for four people with 6 ounce servings of steak, but there may be extra sauce. When I size mine down I still make a full portion of the sauce and reuse it in other dishes throughout the week. It makes a delicious marinade for chicken or salmon, use it as a replacement for pesto in your favorite pasta, or mix it with some extra olive oil and vinegar to make a tasty salad dressing. It tastes best when fresh and used within 5 days.
Filet Mignon with Peach Mango Cilantro Sauce
Tender, juicy filet mignon grilled to a perfect medium rare. Served with a fruity, herbal, peach mango cilantro sauce and tangy sweet grilled onions. This meal is sure to impress your guests.
- 24 ounces filet mignon
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Peach Mango Cilantro Sauce
- 1 large peach
- 1 large mango
- sweet onion ends
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 - 4 tbsp water
Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill with a section for indirect medium heat and a section for direct medium heat.*
Prep the Steaks
Portion the filet mignon into four 6 ounce steaks. Season each steak with salt and pepper then rub with olive oil. Set aside.
Prep the Onions
Slice off ends of the onion, set aside for sauce. Slice onions into three 1/2" - 3/4" thick slices.
Skewer the onion slices using two parallel skewers to hold all the layers together. Make sure one skewer pierces the center section so that it doesn't fall out.
Rub all slices with olive oil and salt. Set aside.
Prep the Sauce
Remove the seed from the peach, remove both the seed and peel from the mango. Place the mango and peach flesh into a large food processor or standard blender.
Grab the onion ends that were sliced off. Remove the core and discard. Add the onion to the food processor.
Trim the ends off of 1/2 a bunch of cilantro and add cilantro to the food processor along with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Blend on high until the sauce is bright green and resembles a pesto or chimichurri style sauce.
Place the onions on the grill over direct medium heat. Place the steak on the grill over a section that is turned off to create indirect medium heat.
Grill steak and onions for 7 minutes, then flip. Continue to cook the onion another 7 minutes - 10 minutes or until they are tender and golden brown.
Check the internal temperature of the steak. Continue to cook the steak until the internal temperature reaches 110 degrees, then remove the steak to a clean plate. Turn that section of the grill to medium high and allow it 5 minutes to heat.
Sear all sides of the steak over direct medium high heat for about 60 seconds per side. Check for an internal temperature of 125 degrees and allow it to rest 5 minutes before serving.
Roughly chop onions. Serve steak with sauce and onions.
*Using a three burner grill, I leave the left side off for the steak, put the middle on medium high, and the right on medium for the onions.