Roasted Fillet of Beef with Pasilla Chili Broth

Chef Robert Del Grande brings a Southwestern twist of flavors to this prime cut of beef

2-pounds fillet of beef (preferably cut from the large end of a fillet)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons very finely ground coffee beans (regular or decaffeinated)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pasilla Chili Broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup coarsely chopped white onion

6 whole cloves garlic, peeled

2 pasilla chilies, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces

1 thick corn tortilla (about 3/4 ounce), 6 inches in diameter, torn into pieces

2-1/2 cups chicken stock (more if needed)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Tie beef with cotton twine at 1/2-inch intervals; rub with salt and pepper, then with olive oil. In a small bowl, combine the ground coffee, cocoa, and cinnamon; mix well. Spread the mixture over a work surface and roll fillet in the mixture to evenly coat beef. Let beef marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature.

For the pasilla chili broth: Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and saut the onion and garlic until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the chilies and tortilla, reduce heat slightly, and saute until golden, about another 10 minutes.

Add chicken stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer mixture to a blender; pure until smooth, about one minute. Strain back into saucepan; add cream, salt, and brown sugar. The sauce should not be too thick. If it is, thin with more chicken stock or water. Bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put fillet on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 250. After 20 minutes, check the internal temperature of the fillet (125 degrees for medium-rare and 135 degrees for medium). If further cooking is required, roast to the desired temperature. Remove fillet from oven; let rest at least 10 minutes. Remove string and carve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe adapted from 'Savor the Southwest.'

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