The Perfect Tenderloin Steak

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Plan Z Phase: This is a Z2 (ZReduction) recipe. There’s nothing I like more than a seared and roasted steak while I am on the ZReduction phase of Plan Z. I learned this steak method by asking a French restaurant how they did theirs. I have pretty much perfected my technique using a cast-iron skillet.

Servings: Serves 2 (can be doubled easily)


  • 2 six-ounce tenderloin steaks. Ask your butcher for center-cut steaks. Those will be whole (no strings holding them together). They are also the most tender and just the right size. They should be 1.5” – 2” thick.
  • olive oil spray
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Take out your cast iron pan and begin to heat it on the stove.

Spray your steaks with olive oil spray on both sides. Season with sea salt and pepper

A couple of notes: Many experts say to take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temp before you cook it. I don’t bother with that but I do try to take them out maybe 10 minutes ahead. 

Some experts say don’t season the steak until it’s cooked. I go the opposite way with this too because I find that searing the meat with the salt and pepper crust makes it taste more like official steakhouse cooking. 

Put the steak in your cast iron pan and cook it on medium-high for 3 minutes. Do NOT mess with it. No moving it around. You want a solid sear on the first side so it tastes like a steakhouse made it.

Then flip the steak and put it in your oven at 375 degrees. If you have a convection oven put it on 375 degrees convection.

Let the steak roast at 375 for approximately 12 minutes. Check it with your Insta-read meat thermometer. When it’s about 119-120 degrees it’s done (if you like your steak medium-rare). Let it sit on the counter in the pan for about 5 – 7 minutes more. The steak will continue to cook and reabsorb some of the juices.

A couple more notes: if your steak is thinner, adjust the cooking time down a bit. 

If you like your steak more well done, just add 3-minute increments and check again for how done you like it. For medium, you want to take it out at about 125-130 degrees because, again, it will continue to cook while it sits in the pan after you take it out of the oven.