Filet Mignon Steaks with Port, Cherries, and Thyme

Preparation & Cooking Time:


Recipe by Jamie Purviance

  • 4 filet mignon steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1 to 1¼ inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground whole peppercorns (not pre-ground)
  • 2½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots
  • ¾ cup dried tart cherries
  • ¾ cup tawny port
  • 12 ounces sweet fresh cherries, such as Bing, each cut in half or quarters (about 2¼ cups)
  • ¾ cup low-sodium beef broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).

  2. Pat the steaks dry, brush them with the oil, and season them evenly with the coarsely ground peppercorns, 1 tablespoon of the thyme, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, pressing the spices into the meat. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet on the side burner of the grill or on the stovetop, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons thyme and stir for 10 seconds. Stir in the dried cherries and port (watch for a flame up) and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the fresh cherries and broth and boil until the cherries are tender and about one-half of the liquid is cooked away, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Season the sauce with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside. 

  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice (if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. While the steaks rest, finish the sauce.

  5. Place the skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Serve the steaks warm with the cherry sauce spooned on top.