During Independence Day week, when Mark and I were visiting friends Susan and Towny in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I met the amazing Enna Grazier who, with her husband Matt, are the founders of Enna Chocolate.
Enna is producing artisanal chocolate, from bean to bar, in a workshop in the off-the-beaten-path town of Epping, near New Hampshire’s seacoast.
Enna uses cocoa beans from Honduras, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Tanzania, and Belize to make exquisite chocolate bars from 70% to 100% cacao. We saw (and smelled) the beans; we ate the bars (and nibs too!).
There is a wonderful article that talks about her journey from wedding photographer to chocolatier.
She gave us a full-on tasting of every bar she had in stock. “Don’t chew — let it melt on your tongue,” she said. In the back of my mind I knew this and was glad for the reminder.
Tasting chocolate is like tasting wine — don’t chew and gulp; just let it melt on your tongue. As it melts, you can sense so many different flavors and textures.
I bought quite a bit of her inventory to bring back home, and I promised her I would create a recipe for Cocoa & Lavender.
And I did just that for a Fourth of July dinner with Susan and Towny; you will remember them from the Provence WineZine. In fact, they provided a wonderful wine to pair with today’s recipe — you can read about it HERE.
I used both Enna’s cocoa powder (which she warned is somewhat coarsely ground) and her Honduran 100% cacao bar to make a Steak au Chocolat.
Served on a purée of potato and sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), the sliced filet is drizzled with an intensely-flavored, savory, slightly bitter chocolate sauce.
No, this is not a Frenchified version of mole. In fact, I didn’t even think of Mexican mole when I was looking for inspiration. I was inspired by the depth of flavor from Enna’s chocolate, and a wonderful Port in Susan and Towny’s cabinet.
I did use crushed peppercorns in the coating of the steaks, but this is no traditional steak au poivre. Not at all. The sauce takes steak to an entirely new level.
Steak au Chocolat
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallots or onion
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao) *
1 tablespoon Demiglace concentrate
1/2 cup Port or Madeira
1/2 cup rosé
1 teaspoon balsamic crema (or glaze)
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes
2 large russet/baking potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup cream
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Add shallots and cook until clear. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the butter and shallots. When chocolate is melted, add the demi-glace and stir to combine. Add the port and rosé, and bring to a simmer. Add the balsamic crema, stir, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened (sauce will continue to thicken as it cools). Strain into a clean saucepan, add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, stir until melted, and set aside.
Place cocoa powder and crushed peppercorns on a plate and add salt and sugar. Mix well with a fork. Press tops and bottoms of the filets into the mixture, leaving sides uncoated. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the potato-sunchoke purée.
Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil. In the meantime, peel the Jerusalem artichokes, and cut them into 1/2-inch dice. When the water is boiling, add 1tablespoon salt and the diced Jerusalem artichokes. Cook for 15 minutes. While the sunchokes are cooking, peel and cut the potato into 1-inch pieces. After the sunchokes have cooked for 15 minutes, add the potatoes to the pot and cook for 20 minutes longer. Drain, then mash with a potato masher, add butter and cream, then whip using a handheld mixer until smooth. Season to taste, then cover and set aside.
Place a skillet (large enough to cook the filets uncrowded in a single batch) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Sear filets - 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. While the steaks are resting, reheat the sauce and potato-sunchoke purée over medium-low heat. (Most likely, the sauce will have separated a bit - whisk it vigorously to emulsify.)
Place a heaping 1/2 cup of potato-sunchoke purée on each plate. Slice the steaks and arrange atop the purée. Spoon sauce over, and serve immediately.
* Don’t use grocery store unsweetened baker’s chocolate - use only the best quality artisanal chocolate. If you can’t fine unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao), go for something with as high a cacao content as you can find - 85% works well, too.
Labels: 100% cacao, cocoa powder, enna, enna chocolate, enna grazier, filet mignon, port, rosé