In the quest for a new and perfect recipe for filet mignons, I ran across this outstanding recipe of Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Seasonal Southwest Cooking” by Barbara Pool Fenzl.  I highly suggest this book if you want to learn more about Southwest cooking.

Select the same size filets mignons and do not fear making a slit into the middle of them. My tip to you is to place them flat on a cutting board and ever so gently make a small incision and work your knife in a zig-zag pattern to create the pocket.

Pine Nuts and Filets Mignons

Delicious and I would not skip them. The nutty flavor that they give to this great dish is not replaceable.

Filet mignons are a very tender cut of beef.  Clean of fat it is one of the most delicious cuts of beef, in my opinion. As well as very versatile. Marinating the filets will be even more tender.

Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce


  • When you handle the habanero chile either wear gloves or wash your hands immediately as it is quite strong. Gently remove the seeds and membrane from the habanero to remove some of the heat.
  • Do open with care the lid of your blender and see smoke coming out. Absolutely normal but keep your face away or it will give your sinuses a great wake-up call.
  • As with all cooking tips, use good Merlot wine, the same that you will be enjoying with dinner

What is habanero?

Muy caliente!!! A very hot, actually one of the hottest varieties of chili. Small with a beautiful and vibrant orange color. A word to the wise always wears gloves when handling them. The seeds are super potent and if you happen to have a small wound, it will burn.

I try not to breathe in when I clean them as the fumes make me cry and cough. I also have a little tolerance to spicy hot food,

Suggested dishes to go alongside

Mashed potatoes or Pommes de Terre Fondantes are the perfect starch side dish. Soaking up all the juices, and you do not want to leave those on your plate.

A simple green salad with vinaigrette will be perfect too.

Rice with Peas and Butter, simple and perfectly paired to the fillets

I must say, we all were speechless at the first bite. The filet mignons were as tender as they can be. The cheese and pine nuts are quite addictive. The sauce over the filets, which is the marinate simply reduced,  was out of this world.

Looking for more yummy recipes?

You may also like:

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart

Grilled Salmon with Olives and Pine Nuts

Rosemary, Peas, Lemon Chicken

Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce

5 from 9 votes
Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Super delicious filets mignons marinated in wine with a perfect habanero sauce. A must-try!


  • 4 ounces beef filet mignons 6 4-5 ounces each beef filet mignons
  • 1 tablespoon salt 1tablespoon salt
  • .75 cup Merlot wine 3/4 cup Merlot wine
  • 0.50 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • .25 habanero chile ¼ teaspoon finely chopped habanero chili
  • 1.5 cup Monterey Jack Cheese 1 ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 tablespoons pine nuts 6 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Cut a slit horizontally through each fillet to form a pocket. Rub the salt onto the outer surfaces of the filets and place them in a shallow glass dish. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.
  • Put the wine, balsamic vinegar, thyme leaves, and habanero into a blender and puree. Pour the marinade over the filets, rubbing the salt off unto the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for another hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 300F. Take the meat out of the marinade and drain on paper towels. Reserve the marinade. 
  • Stuff about ¼ cup cheese and 1 tablespoon pine nuts into the pocket of each filet. Press together to keep the filling in.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil. When hot, add the fillets and sear until brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the filets over and cook the other side until brown, another 2 minutes. Remove the fillets to a baking sheet fitted with a rack.
  • Pour reserved marinade into the hot skillet and cook over high heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any bits, and until the marinade is reduced to about ¾ of a cup.
    Strain into a saucepan and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Keep warm.
  • Bake the filets until the internal temperature reaches135F for medium-rare. Put each filet on a serving plate and spoon a few tablespoons of the sauce over it. Serve immediately


Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1319mg | Potassium: 106mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 219mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi's Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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