Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

5 from 2 votes
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This balsamic and red wine 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 steak, which of course immediately piqued my interest.

Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Red Wine and Balsamic Sauce

Why This Recipe Works

I was a little skeptical of adding a tart sauce on top of steak. In reality, a red wine glaze is very complimentary of the savory and salty nature of steak. Red wine and beef pair nicely together because of the tannins in wine and the fat content in red meat. Serving red wine on top of steak is a way to experience this phenomenon in every bite

I’ve also taken restaurant cooking into the home by learning the best way to sous vide steak and creating an amazing blue cheese butter to top it with.

The Secret to Perfect Filet Mignon

The secret to cooking the perfect steak is combining pan searing with an oven finish. This gives you a nicely seared exterior (high heat) with a juicy and evenly cooked interior (indirect lower heat).

The overall consistency and predictability of this cooking technique give this recipe a very high success rate on the very first try. I’ve followed it to the T with great success with hundreds of steaks. If this is your first time preparing filet mignon or if you’re struggling to get it right, then this recipe is for you.

Ingredients

  • 10-12 ounce tenderloin beef filets (roughly 1.5- 2 inches thick): look for steaks that are about 2 inches thick and appear plump and deep red. Avoid steaks with signs of browning or slimy texture.
  • Salt and pepper: for seasoning and optional dry brining.
  • Vegetable or canola oil: these oils are best for searing because they have a higher smoke point than butter or olive oil.
  • Dry red wine: look for chianti or similar. This is a great way to use older wine that’s losing freshness.
  • balsamic vinegar: balsamic vinegar is delicious when it’s reduced with some added sugar. Be sure you’re buying balsamic vinegar and not balsamic glaze, which has already been reduced.
  • Brown sugar: brown sugar or table sugar helps to balance the acid from the berries and wine. Without it, the sauce will be overly tart. You can back-sweeten to taste with additional sugar if needed.
  • Garlic, butter, and rosemary: I add whole garlic, butter, and rosemary to the pan before placing the steaks in the oven. This enhances the pan drippings so you can spoon them over the filet just after cooking.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Red Wine Reduction For Steak

My secret to cooking filet mignon in a red wine reduction is adding balsamic vinegar. This adds richness, additional acid, and some sweetness. This recipe also calls for a little brown sugar to help the sauce caramelize and balance the acid.

Seasoning the Steak

Remove your steak from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to bring it closer to room temp. This is going to ensure even cooking and more accurate cooking times. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season generously with coarse sea salt or kosher salt and pepper.

Seasoned raw filet mignon steak.

Dry Brining Steak

You can take seasoning one step further with dry brining. Dry brining is the process of drying out the exterior of the steak with salt before cooking, locking in the juices, and enhancing the flavor. To dry brine steak, place the steaks on a wire rack set on a baking sheet and season liberally with coarse sea salt or kosher salt, and pepper. Place the steaks in the fridge uncovered for at least one hour or preferably overnight. The drier steak surface will make for even better crusting.

Steak should still rest on the counter for at least 30-45 minutes before cooking to climatize. No additional salt or seasoning is required.

How to Cook Filet Mignon

Step 1.

Preheat the oven to 415°F. Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before 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.

Seasoning raw filet mignon with salt and pepper.

Step 2.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil (all you need is a very light coating) 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.

Pan searing filet mignon in a cast iron skillet.

Step 3.

Optionally add some butter, fresh rosemary, and a whole garlic clove/herbs to the pan before transferring it to the oven. The butter will melt and the herbs will season the pan drippings for a later step. 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 1.5-2 inches thick.

Quick Tip

Precisely timing your cooking time for steak always yields consistent results. I use my phone to time each side on the skillet and then in the oven. If you adhere to strict cooking times, I promise you will never overcook a steak again.

Step 4.

Optionally spoon some of the seasoned pan drippings over the steak to infuse it with extra flavor.

A seared filet mignon steak with a metal spoon spooning pan drippings over the steak.

Step 5.

Remove filets from the skillet and set them on a plate or cutting board and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature.

Step 6.

For the red wine reduction whisk together wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Step 7.

Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently so the vinegar/wine doesn’t burn. Simmer until reduced by half or the desired thickness is reached. Usually 10-15 minutes. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve over steak.

Temperature for Steak

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 steak’s internal temperature for the desired level of doneness. Always measure in the middle of the thickest part of the steak.

DonenessInternal TempOven Duration
Very Rare/rare120°F to 125°F 4 minutes
Medium rare125°F to 130°F5-6 minutes
Medium135°F to 140°F6-7 minutes
Medium well145°F to 150°F8-9 minutes
Well done160°F and above10+ 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.

Let Steaks Rest

The legend, Anthony Bourdain once said, the most important aspect of cooking any steak is the rest period after you take it off the heat. Letting a steak rest for 5-7 minutes before cutting is critical for two reasons. One, it continues to cook the steak. Second, the juices evenly distribute back throughout the meat, yielding the perfect bite every time. Always let your steaks rest!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a cast iron skillet?

Cast iron is versatile and can be used for so many different recipes on my site. Here is the one I have. Any oven-safe pan should do the trick, however, as a disclaimer, I based the cook times and results on cast iron.

What if I don’t have an oven-safe pan?

If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you can sear your filets on the stovetop and then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. This method works well at keeping your steaks elevated from the direct heat while in the oven. Just note, that this will likely add additional baking time.

What if I’m cooking more than 4 filets?

If cooking more than 4 steaks on a standard skillet, you may need to adjust the cooking times. I wouldn’t attempt to cook more than 6 filets at a time in a single skillet because the heat loss is going to be too significant.

I’m cooking steak for a very large crowd. What should I do?

This is a difficult recipe to pull off for 10-12 people unless you have two skillets. If cooking for a larger crowd I would also suggest reverse searing a whole tenderloin or cooking your steaks on the grill. Learn how to grill your filet mignon here.

More Filet Mignon Recipes You’ll Love

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 2 votes

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

Servings: 2
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Filet mignon covered with a thick red wine and balsamic sauce, inspired by Acqua Al 2 in Florence, Italy.

Ingredients 

  • 2 8-10 ounce tenderloin beef filets (filet mignon), roughly 2 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • chopped parsley or rosemary garnish, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, whole

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
  • pinch of salt and pepper
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Instructions 

  • 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 tablespoon of oil (all you need is a very light coating) 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.
  • Optionally add some herb butter and a whole garlic clove/herbs to the pan before transferring it to the oven. The butter will melt and the herbs will season the pan drippings for a later step. 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 1.5-2 inches thick.
  • Optionally spoon some of the seasoned pan drippings over the steak to infuse it with extra flavor.
  • Top each filet with as much balsamic glaze as desired. Serve immediately.

For the red wine reduction

  • For the red wine reduction whisk together wine, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and salt 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.

Notes

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

Nutrition

Serving: 1steakCalories: 394kcalCarbohydrates: 7.1gProtein: 37.1gFat: 17.4gSaturated Fat: 8.1gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 201mgSugar: 5.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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9 Comments

  1. I loved this recipe but the glaze use to have rosemary and garlic. Can you provide that original recipe. I never wrote it down, I would just come to this site and now it’s gone.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. If you leave the steak on the hot skillet and put it in the oven to cook further, does the second side get cooked to much or burnt?

    1. Minimally but nothing that I’ve really had an issue with. You can transfer to a wire rack lined baking sheet but it will add 3-4 minutes to the oven portion.

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe tonight exactly as directed and it was MONEY!!! The only thing I added was some garlic powder along with the salt and pepper. I was among the best filets the wife and I have had. I’ve always been a grill man. The sauce was awesome too !!

  4. I just tried this recipe today… and I’m in a state of catharsis. It was really savory and delicious, and I still can’t believe I made it. Thank you…thank you…THANK YOU! I’m ready to host a post-Covid dinner party!

    Ciao,
    Mark in Dallas

  5. I have a bottle of Bonavita Balsamic Glaze. Would you suggest to heat on low on stovetop until heated or brush glaze on when removing skillet from oven? Thank you!