Wednesday, August 29, 2012

recipe: grilled beef tenderloin with chocolate sauce

Grilled beef tenderloin with dark chocolate sauce??? Yes, you read that correctly. I know that it might sound a little (or very) odd, depending on how daring you are in the kitchen, but you’ll have to trust me on this one.
This recipe is a play on the mole sauce of Mexican cuisine – mole is the general name for a number of sauces (red, yellow, black, green, etc.) which always include some sort of chili pepper and sometimes even chocolate.
I’ve adapted this recipe from celebrity chef Ted Reader – I was once his cooking assistant at Dish Cooking Studio – this was one of the recipes that he featured for a grilling class. Ted was a ton of fun to work with, and his recipes are delicious, fun and unique (and always fattening…) but this one is worth every calorie.
The original recipe calls for smoked white chocolate and Godiva chocolate liqueur, but I’ve adapted it to use dark chocolate instead. The sauce is still quite sweet, so I suggest that you serve it with something sharp and/or slightly bitter to offset its richness – sautéed rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) works well. Also, don’t forget the garlic mashed potatoes!
I made this dish for my husband during the first year that we dated. He was quite hesitant and rather skeptical before cutting into his steak and dipping it into the sauce – but to this day he still talks about how surprised he was to find that the chocolate went so well with the beef.
grilled beef tenderloin with chocolate sauce
ingredients for beef
  • 4 (four), six ounce beef tenderloin filets, about 1½ (one-and-one-half) inches thick
  • 2 (two) tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 (two) tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
ingredients for sauce
  • 2 (two) tablespoons butter
  • 1 (one) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (one) small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 (one half) jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3/4 (three quarters) cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 (one half) cup 70 % dark chocolate (or 80-90%, if you prefer), coarsely chopped
  • 2 (two) teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Place olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large ziplock bag and shake, add steaks and coat with marinade. Marinate steaks for a few hours or overnight if desired (leave in fridge)
  • Remove steaks from fridge and marinade, season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high.
  • To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Sauté the garlic, shallot and jalapeno for 1-2 (one to two) minutes until tender. Add in ¼ (one-quarter) cup of the cream and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and stir in some of the chocolate, a little at a time, alternating with the remaining cream.
  • Gently bring up to a low boil and let simmer for a few minutes until thick. Add fresh thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Grill beef tenderloin steaks for 4-5 (four to five) minutes per side for medium-rare doneness. Serve each steak drizzled with the chocolate sauce (or on the side to use as a dip).

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