Filet Mignon on Charred Onions, Zucchini W/ Balsamic Sauce

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“A quite delicious entree from Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington. The sauce can be made in advance and held in a thermos; the vegetables can be seared in advance and placed on serving plates and warmed in the oven, leaving just the filets to sear at dinner time.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the sauce
  • 1 18 cups red wine (cabernet or pinot noir)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, peeled and halved
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Filets and Vegetables
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices
  • 4 (5 -6 ounce) filet mignon


  1. For the sauce:
  2. In a small, heavy bottomed pan, combine wine vinegar and the shallot.
  3. Place over medium heat, bring to a boil and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
  4. Remove from heat, discard the shallot and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm till ready to serve.
  6. For the Beef and vegetables:
  7. Place a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot.
  8. Add only enough olive oil to leave a film on the surface of the skillet.
  9. Place onion slices in one layer and cook until lightly charred on the bottom -- do not blacken.
  10. Turn with tongs or a spatula and char on the other side -- the onions should be soft.
  11. Transfer to paper towels.
  12. Season zucchini slices with salt and pepper.
  13. Return skillet to high heat and when very hot, film the surface with olive oil and place the zucchini in the skillet in one layer.
  14. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms of the slices blister.
  15. Turn and cook for one minute more, until lightly golden.
  16. Remove from heat and transfer to paper towels.
  17. Brush filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  18. Return skillet to high heat.
  19. When skillet is very hot, sear filets for two minutes on each side for rare (or longer, if you prefer).
  20. To serve:
  21. Arrange three zucchini ovals on each of four warmed plates so that the ovals meet in the center of the plate.
  22. Arrange three or four onion rings over the zucchini on each plate.
  23. Place a filet on top of the onion on each plate and pool sauce on each plate.
  24. Top the filets with more onion and serve immediately.

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