Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce

  • 15 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 10 mins cook
  • 2 hrs Marinate
  • serves 6 people

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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. Marinated the filets will be even more tender.


  • 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.

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 quite addictive. The sauce over the filets, which is the marinate simply reduced,  was out of this world.


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Nutrition Facts
Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 1319mg57%
Potassium 106mg3%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 219mg22%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Marinated and Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce

  • 15 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 10 mins cook
  • 2 hrs Marinate
  • serves 6 people


Original recipe yields 6 servings

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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Preheat the oven to 300F. Take the meat out of the marinade and drain on paper towels. Reserve the marinade. 

  4. Stuff about ¼ cup cheese and 1 tablespoon pine nuts into the pocket of each filet. Press together to keep the filling in.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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



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Comments (2) Post a Reply

  1. Azlin Bloor says:

    Looks wonderful Giangi. I can just imagine how superb that Merlot sauce is with the fruity habañero. And congratulations on 9 years of blogging!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you Azlin. The sauce was absolutely delicious. A must try!

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