beef tenderloin with rosemary, chocolate and wine reduction

Go ahead and say it: This sounds weird, right? I thought so, too, until I tried this for Valentine's Day. We knew we wanted beef tenderloin, but I wanted to incorporate cocoa into the meal in honor of the day, especially since we had pear ginger crumble for dessert. Bringing unsweetened, robust cocoa into a savory dish is a lot like bringing coffee into a chocolate cake - it ups the wow factor. The results of this Ellie Krieger recipe were amazing. Dinner party worthy and perfect for a Valentine's dinner for two.

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Reduction
Sauce makes 4-6 servings (I cut it in half for our dinner for two)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 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 (drink the rest!)
  • 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
Heat a little olive 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 and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Serve on the side with the sliced tenderloin.

In case you're wondering, the potatoes in the background are these ooey-gooey potatoes au gratin.
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