This balsamic steak recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants in Florence, Italy. One of our most unique dining experiences on the trip was at a restaurant called Acqua Al 2. The restaurant is known for its beef, specifically the balsamic and blueberry glazed steaks, which of course immediately piqued my interest.
I was a little skeptical of the sound of both steaks at first. I’m typically a purist when it comes to quality cuts of beef. Blueberry on steak? The sweet glazes are very complimentary of the savory nature of steak. It’s a very different concept but admittedly VERY good—and something I sought to recreate back at home.
Cooking the Perfect Filet Mignon
If you’ve never cooked filet mignon via the stovetop and oven method, it’s very simple. Sear filets for 2 minutes per side on the stovetop in a very hot cast iron skillet and then immediately transfer the steaks to a preheated oven at 415°F to finish cooking. I typically bake the filets for about 5-6 minutes for medium-rare.
The timing/temperature chart below corresponds to the pan sear/oven method in this recipe. It’s a great guide assuming you choose a steak of similar size and thickness as listed in the recipe. I recommend a digital thermometer to verify your desired level of doneness.
|Doneness||Temperature Range||Oven Duration|
|Very Rare/rare||120°F to 125°F||4 minutes|
|Medium rare||125°F to 130°F||5-6 minutes|
|Medium||135°F to 140°F||6-7 minutes|
|Medium well||145°F to 150°F||8-9 minutes|
|Well done||160°F and above||10+ minutes|
SMOKE WARNING: Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation.
Red Wine Reduction For Steak
My secret to cooking filet mignon in red wine and balsamic reduction is the thickness of the sauce. Too thin and it lacks any sort of consistency. I added a little brown sugar to help it caramelize and give the sauce a little extra sweetness that pairs really well with a nicely seasoned steak.
Combine all reduction ingredients in a saucepan and lightly simmer until reduced by half. If you let it sit for a few minutes after removing it from the heat, it will thicken. Remember, this is a balsamic forward sauce!
More Filet Mignon Recipes You’ll Love
- Filet mignon with garlic herb butter
- Blueberry filet mignon
- Bacon-wrapped filet mignon
- How to grill filet mignon
- Everything you need to know about sous vide steak
Filet mignon covered with a thick red wine and balsamic sauce, inspired by Acqua Al 2 in Florence, Italy.
- 2 8-10 ounce tenderloin beef filets (roughly 2 inches thick)
- vegetable or canola oil (can use 2 tbsp butter but it has a lower smoke point)
- chopped parsley or rosemary garnish (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic and red wine reduction
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (I like Chianti)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 415°F. Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season all sides liberally with salt and pepper. This can be done while your steak comes to room temp.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to an oven-safe cast iron skillet and turn the heat up high, allowing the skillet to become very hot. Twirl the pan to distribute oil as it heats. Once the oil starts to smoke, place the filets face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the filets and sear for an additional 2 minutes. This will give your filets a nice seared edge.
- Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. [WARNING] skillet may be hot, handle it with oven mitts. For rare, bake for 4 minutes. Medium rare, 5-6 minutes. Medium, 6-7 minutes. Medium well, 8-9 minutes. Remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for an 8-10 ounce portion, roughly 2 inches thick.
- Remove filets from the skillet and set them on a plate, lightly cover with foil, and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature.
- Top each filet with as much balsamic glaze as desired. Serve immediately.
For the balsamic reduction
- Whisk together all balsamic glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently so the vinegar/wine doesn’t burn. Simmer until reduced by half or desired thickness is reached. Usually 10-15 minutes. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation.
Temperatures for steak
Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Medium rare: 125°F to 130°F
Medium: 135°F to 140°F
Medium well: 145°F to 150°F
Well done: 160°F and above
- Serving Size: 1 steak
- Calories: 394
- Sugar: 5.1g
- Sodium: 201mg
- Fat: 17.4g
- Saturated Fat: 8.1g
- Carbohydrates: 7.1g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 37.1g
- Cholesterol: 133mg
Keywords: steak with red wine reduction, balsamic reduction steak