It’s the week of love people! The week where calories don’t count if they are in the form of chocolate. I have always been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Whether I am in a relationship or not I love to celebrate with wine and a nice meal. My parents, however, like to celebrate by sending me candy and a barbershop quartet….to my office. All embarrassment aside my meal of choice for this lovely holiday is generally a steak. I am not sure why in my head February 14th=steak but i’m stuck with it.
Each year I do a different variation and this year I am getting a bit nostalgic. When I was 15 my family took a European vacation. While there were many fabulous aspects to this trip I can guarantee that the chocolate steak we had in Venice is sure to be a universal favorite. This steak had an incredible red wine and chocolate sauce accompanied by delicious fresh fruit. It sounds so strange but it was truly one of the most unusually delicious and memorable meals. I have searched for years and never found another recipe that comes close so i decided to piece together a few to create my own.
Before I debut this recipe let me reveal a secret. I have never cooked filet mignon. So this recipe is a double experiment. Turns out, cooking a filet is super easy AND makes you feel really cool. Basting the meat in dabs of butter infused with rosemary is quite the experience. I didn’t end up using the stove top to oven method because just over the stovetop mine was cooked enough. If I were putting a lighter sauce on top or eating the steak with something else I could probably give it some oven time for a little extra crisp.
Once I had the steaks cooked through and wrapped in foil to rest I realized I had a pretty solid sauce base so I turned down the heat and added a lot of garlic, a fair amount of red wine, a few dashes of chile powder, and a pinch of pepper and let it all reduce together. Because I was just adding to the cooking liquid I did not add anymore butter and I did not include beef stock as I had intended. Once the sauce is reduced to your liking, about a twenty minute process until dragging a spoon through it leaves a clear divide, turn off the heat and whisk in the dark chocolate pieces.
I used a 73% cacao dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s. Holy moly this takes this sauce up to 1 million. It looks and smells amazing. Something I didn’t do but wish I had at this point is strain it prior to topping the steaks. Don’t skip this step it adds to the luxury of a thick, creamy sauce with complex but not individual tastes. You don’t want to randomly chomp down on a piece of garlic or rosemary to ruin a bite.
I paired this meal with some cinnamon topped sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The best part is you can use the leftover wine and chocolate for dessert :). Let me know if you try this chocolatey perfection or if you have another favorite steak sauce I need to try. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!