Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce

As with any recipe that calls for a substantial amount of wine, use a wine that you enjoy drinking. The sauce in this recipe is just a concentrated version of the wine with some butter and pan juices. So, if you don't like the wine to start, it will not make a good sauce. Pick a wine you like.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4


  • 2-4 filet mignon steaks, 1 to 2 inches thick*
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups full bodied red wine (we used a favorite Zinfandel)
  • Black pepper to taste

*If you have thicker steaks, you can butterfly them and cook on the stovetop as directed here, or you can sear them on the stovetop and finish them in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes or more, until the center of the steaks are done to your liking.


1 Prepare the steaks: Your steaks should already be trimmed of the tough silver skin. If not, cut away any gristly bits. If your steak has the chain attached and you don't want to serve it, cut it away and save for another purpose.

2 Let sit at room temperature: Allow the steaks to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Just before getting ready to cook, pat the meat dry with paper towels, then coat with oil. Salt well.

3 Sear the steaks on one side: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron pan on high heat for 1 minute. Swirl to coat the pan. Put the steaks in the hot pan and immediately turn the heat down to medium to medium high (depending on your stovetop, medium on a high BTU gas range is about medium high on most electric ranges). Sear untouched for at least 3 minutes, up to 6 minutes for a 2-inch thick steak.

4 Cook the other side: Flip the steaks and cook for another 2-5 minutes, depending on how thick the steak is and how rare or well done you like your meat.

seared filet mignon steak in pan

You can use the finger test to test the doneness of your steak. Or you can use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak (120°F to 125°F for rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, 140°F to 145°F for medium).

Remove from the pan, loosely tent with foil and allow to rest while you make the sauce.

5 Make the wine sauce with pan juices: Pour the wine into the pan and turn the heat to high. Boil this furiously until it is reduced by 3/4, about 10 minutes. Add any juices the steaks have released while resting.

reduce wine sauce for filet mignon in pan

Turn off the heat and wait until the wine has stopped bubbling. When it has, add the tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon at a time. Swirl each tablespoon into the sauce until it is completely incorporated before adding the next tablespoon of butter.

swirl butter into filet mignon wine sauce in pan

Add salt to taste and serve the sauce with the steak. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over the meat when you serve it.

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  • Celeste

    This is wonderful. When I do it again I think I will make the sauce a little ahead of time -reducing the red wine and adding butter- in a saucepan separate from the skillet adding the drippings after the steaks rest.


  • Sam

    Pretty sure boiling wine in your cast iron isn’t good for the pan.

    From what I’ve read it can destroy your seasoning in the pan and make your food taste metallic.

    Anyone had that experience? Trying this recipe soon, but planning to pour wine and juices into a steel pot for the reduction.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sam, if your cast iron pan is well seasoned, it isn’t an issue. Truly, not a problem.

  • Margaret

    Thank you for this super easy recipe! I needed a sauce for tonight and I just made a sample of this today to make sure it would be good for guests. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to top my grilled filet mignon with it tonight. Easy and impressive!


  • Penny

    We tried this tonight and it was awesome – instructions were foolproof, and the sauce magnifique! Now I know what to do with fillet mignon. :)


  • Norm

    I’ve made this recipe for myself and my wife. We rate recipes up to 5-stars. We gave this a “10” . This will be 1 of 2 offerings at a ladies luncheon I’m doing soon, the other Baked Tilapia in Lemon Butter Dill Sauce.


  • Norm

    The olive oil you want to substitute has a lower smoke point than the canola or grapeseed oil recommended. The olive oil, even a good one, will burn, and leave a bitter taste. The only way to get a good sear is by high initial heat in the pan. Stick with the recommended oil for this reason.

  • Eva-marie

    Just found this website. I love your style and you know what you’re talking about!!! Great filet mignon btw super

    easy and delicious!


  • tomoko

    Made this for Valentines dinner, BIG hit!!! Hubby loved it and claimed it was the the best steak he’s had. Beautiful too. :)


  • Kasley

    Thanks you so much. I don’t eat meat and I’d no idea how to cook steak. My husband said this is the best steak he had since many years ago.On side note, he doesn’t drink alcohol but he totally loved the red wine sauce and medium well steak. Thanks again.


  • Olga

    I made this tonight with a prime NY strip and it was delicious. I froze the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray for future adventures in red wine reduction.


  • Megan

    This is the best steak I’ve had in a long time. Made it with Rebeyee steaks and it turned out great!

  • Michelle

    Thanks, Elise…I adore you recipes and many have made it into my regular rotation. I made this sauce the other night and it came out way too tart and acidic and ended up semi rescuing it only after adding a lot of honey. I used a very good Malbec (Altos Las Hormigas) and drank a glass of the wine while cooking (no problem with the wine). What might I have done wrong?

    Hi Michelle, that’s weird. The only thing that I’m thinking it could be is the wine. Perhaps that particular wine just doesn’t reduce well. There’s no acid in the recipe other than in the wine. ~Elise

  • Julie

    Making two filets tonight! I have them almost at room temp and the salt and meat mallet crushed peppercorns (I broke my grinder the other day) all set. I usually touch them to check the doneness but the finger test you linked to was really interesting.

  • Cindy Love

    This recipe is like the one I make but adding some high quality blue cheese crumbles really puts it over the top. Point Reyes Blue is wonderful. Go to Corti’s a buy a wedge. You won’t but pre crumbled ever again!

  • Chef Connie

    Wondeful post. This site is great for showing home cooks how to make great dishes from scratch. I love that you show how to break down a whole filet. I love to get those from Costco.

  • Virginia

    We make a similar red wine sauce and serve it with salmon…delicious!

  • Deanna

    I wish I like filet mignon more. I suspect this sauce will be just as good with a ribeye.