Beef and chocolate are two of my favorite things, but I must admit I was a bit taken aback at the idea of a sauce for beef tenderloin that included cocoa powder. It certainly didn't stop me from trying it though!
It all started with a hunk o' beef. In this case, a portion of beef tenderloin. I buy a whole tenderloin and cut it down into useable sizes for the weeone and I, so I get 3-4 meals from one tenderloin. So it got a bath of salt and pepper followed by a searing good time on top of the stove making sure that all its surfaces were browned and the juices seared inside. The beef then hit the oven for half an hour at 425 degrees.
While the meat cooked, I started the sauce. In the future, I'll start the sauce first because even though the recipe say it takes 30 minutes for the sauce, I found it had to cook a lot longer to reduce to the consistancy it should. Anyway, I used my food processor to chop celery, carrots and shallots. I put them over heat in a large saucepan and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
Next up, my favorite ingredient - garlic. The garlic joined the party for just a minute or two before I added the wine, beef stock, tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme.
Those were brought to a boil and then I reduced the heat to let the sauce simmer for about 40 minutes or until the liquid was reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Once it was reduced, the sauce was run through a fine mesh strainer and mixed with cocoa powder and chopped rosemary, completing the sauce.
It was smooth and silky and rich and mind boggling really. I think I am in love with this sauce, despite the time it took to make. So, I wouldn't call this a weekday or everyday sort of meal, but man-oh-man - make it. You'll love it. So will any boy....I promise. ;D
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Sauce
- 1 (2-pound) beef tenderloin roast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Season the meat with the salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat until good and hot, then add the meat and sear until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
Transfer the meat to a rack set on a baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140 degrees F for medium-rare, about 30 minutes, or to your desired degree of doneness. Remove it from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest until the sauce is nearly done before slicing.
While the meat cooks, make the sauce. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrot and celery and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the wine and broth and stir in the tomato paste. Add the bay leaf and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 40 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Stir in the cocoa androsemary and season with salt and pepper. Serve on the side with the sliced tenderloin.
Serving size 3 slices of meat and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce, makes 6 servings
Per Serving: Calories 280; Total Fat 9g (Sat Fat 3g, Mono Fat 4g, Poly Fat 0g); Protein 31g; Carb 7g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 82mg; Sodium 375mg