Marinated & Stuffed Filet Mignons with Merlot Habanero Sauce
6 4-5 ounces each beef filet mignons
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
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 marinate over the filets, rubbing the salt off unto the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Take the meat out of the marinate and drain on paper towels. Reserve the marinate.
Stuff about ¼ cup cheese and 1 tablespoon pine nuts into the pocket of each filets. Press together to keep the filling in.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil. When hot, add the filets and sear until brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the filets over and cook the other side until brown, another 2 minutes. Remove the filets to a baking sheet fitted with a rack.
Pour reserved marinate 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