Filet Mignon with Blackberry Pan Sauce

As part of our Flavor Profile of Mattaponi Winery (Spotsylvania, Virginia), we've decided to showcase a couple of their wines in Slice & Torte original dishesRead the Flavor Profile →

The second I tasted Mattaponi Winery's Makadewamin wine I knew I was trying something special.  This is a wine made completely from blackberries; there is not a single grape in it!  The best thing about this wine is it's versatility.  While it's classified as a dessert wine, it is not overly sweet.  In fact, I would never have guessed it was a dessert wine if I wasn't told.  It just has this wonderful, complex blackberry flavor that I felt would pair well with red meat.  

For this recipe showcase, we start with pan seared filet mignon, simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and finish it off with a blackberry pan sauce, using Mattaponi Winery's Makadewamin wine, balsamic vinegar, and herbs.  The balsamic and blackberry flavors meld together wonderfully to create a sauce that is herbaceous and earthy.  Such a complex sauce paired with a simply prepared steak makes the perfect date night meal.  Serve with  Slice & Torte's Crispy Broccolini for a filling, well-rounded meal.  For dessert, check out S&T's Blacker the Berry Cake; it also uses the Makadewamin wine!

Yields 2 servings.


  • 2 - 6 ounce filet mignon steaks
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus 1 extra sprig
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Coarse ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup blackberry wine (we suggest Makadewamin from Mattaponi Winery)
  • 2/3 cup low sodium beef or bone broth
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons seedless blackberry preserves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, cold


  1. About an hour before you're ready to start cooking, take steaks out of the refrigerator.  Pat dry and sprinkle all sides with kosher salt, coarse ground pepper, and finely chopped rosemary.  Set aside and let come to room temperature.
  2. Heat a medium sized skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes.  You need the pan to be screaming-hot in order to form a nice crust on the steak.  Add the oil to the skillet and let it heat until it shimmers and is almost at the point of smoking.
  3. Add both steaks and the extra sprig of rosemary to the hot pan.  Sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, until a nice, browned crust has formed.  (This will produce a steak that is about a medium doneness.)
  4. Remove steaks  and rosemary from pan and place on a plate and loosely cover in foil.  While the steak is resting, make the pan sauce.
  5. Using the same pan, lower heat to medium and add shallots, thyme, and garlic.  Cook until soft (1-2 minutes).
  6. Add wine and increase heat back to high.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue cooking until the wine has been reduced by half.  
  7. Stir in the beef broth, balsamic vinegar, fresh blackberries, and blackberry preserves.  Mash the berries into the sauce using the back of the spoon.
  8. Continue cooking the sauce until it has reduced and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  9. Remove from heat and swirl in cold butter.  Add salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Slice filet on a sharp bias, against the grain.  Arrange slices on a plate and spoon sauce over the slices.