Beef Tenderloin in a Porcini and Chocolate Sauce
Rosa Mexicano accompanies this dish with roasted baby zucchini stuffed with a spiced pumpin-potato raisin puree.
3 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 5- to 6-ounces beef tenderloin steaks, cut about 1-inch thick
Ground black pepper
Ground chile de arbol
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
6 dried whole chile de arbol
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 18 cloves)
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 cup finely grated Oaxacan chocolate or other Mexican-style chocolate
(about 2 ounces)
3 tablespoons snipped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground chile de arbol
Place mushrooms in large bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover. Set aside 30 minutes. Strain mushrooms and soaking liquid through a fine mesh sieve lined with 100% cotton cheesecloth, reserving soaking liquid. Rinse strained mushrooms; drain, and set aside.
In 12-inch skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat until butter melts. Season steaks with sea salt, black pepper, and small amount of ground chile de arbol. Cook steaks in hot butter mixture 4 to 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove steaks from skillet; set aside.
Add onion and whole chile de arbol to skillet. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Add 1-1/2 cups of mushroom soaking liquid and wine to the mushroom mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 2 cups. Add chocolate, parsley, 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and 3/4 teaspoon ground chile de arbol. Stir until well combined. If sauce is too thick or thickens upon cooking, add additional mushroom soaking liquid.
Add beef steaks back to skillet with sauce. Cook, covered, 5 to 8 minutes or until steaks are desired doneness (145°F for medium-rare or 160°F for medium). Transfer steaks to serving plates. Top each with mushroom sauce and a whole chile de arbol from sauce.
Photograph: Peter Krumhardt