9.07.2019

Steak au Chocolat

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.

~ David

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.

Serves 4.

* 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.



32 comments:

  1. David , this sounds absolutely divine, the flavor must be out of this world.

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    1. Thanks, Gerlinde - I was very happy with the results.

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  2. This is no Mexican mole. It feels very French... Magnifique! GREG

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    1. No, it is not. But, because it has chocolate, people only see mole.

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  3. Sippity Sup got ahead of me as I also immediately thought of my experiences with mole :) ! What a great opportunity to taste a variety of 70% dark chocolates . . . do the 80% + ones have notes of bitterness ? I find it difficult to enjoy higher than 70% locally ! I love Jerusalem artichokes and am dying to experiment with your steak recipe . . . so thanks !

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    1. I was intrigued by the method of melting the chocolate on my tongue. I got to taste so much more than when I chewed it. That is what inspired the sauce. It would work fine with a 70 % or 80% bar.

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  4. It's a bit hard for us who have 'meat and 3 veg' taste buds to get used to the idea of using chocolate with our steak, but it sounds like a brilliant idea! I've cooked a mole before but the chiles tend to mask the chocolate taste.

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    1. Isn't it fun to open up your horizons, Fran? That is the fun part of the food and blogging community - so many things left to try!

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  5. What fun it must have been to do a chocolate tasting! I love the sound of this sauce - the butter, the chocolate, the port wine -- three of my favorite things!

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  6. I don't think I've ever tried 100% cacao chocolate. The highest would have to be 85%, which has a wonderful sharpness and bitterness. Pairing such high percentages of cocoa with wines to make this sauce sounds glorious. I can only imagine how delicious it is!

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    1. The wines - especially the port - really helped to make the sauce so flavorful and added just enough sugar to take the edge off...

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  7. Absolutely amazing ! I can imagine perfectly balanced flavours of food and wine ..... Heaven :-) :-) :-)

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  8. Sounds very tasty, and very elegant. Although milk chocolate leaves me cold, I absolute love dark chocolate high in cacao content. The depth of flavor is incredible.

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    1. I like both milk and dark, Frank - but there are bad versions of both, in my opinion. For me, the quality makes the difference.

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  9. this sounds absolutely marvellous david. i love the sound of the chocolate sauce; very sophisticated. I always think chocolate is a bit of a miracle - i mean who would think of turning that unprepossessing bean into such a glorious product? cheers Sherry

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    1. I often think of those little culinary miracles, Sherry. The cacao bean, lobster, ... even cactus paddles! Glad there were some really adventurous pioneers out there!

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  10. Dear David, what an inspirational post - I love that you got your idea for this recipe from the amazing artisanal chocolate that your friend produces - very elegant, delicious and just plain wonderful presentation, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, my dear Andrea. It was fun to create this for my friends, and I hope others will try it!

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  11. I would love to try this, the flavours sound so interesting. I have tried venison and chocolate before and it worked well together. I didn't know Jerusalem artichokes were also called sunchokes!

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    1. Ooh, Caroline - venison and chocolate sounds wonderful!

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  12. This is an amazing recipe. I thought mole, too, when I saw the recipe title, but this clearly is much different. Extremely creative -- thanks.

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    1. Thanks, John - oddly, while this recipe has much more chocolate than a mole, it is much less pronounced as it is 100%. Great learning for me about how chocolate reacts to liquids when there are few other fats to hold onto!

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  13. What an interesting story about your chocolatier friend Enna. In a way, I can see the journey she made from shotting weddings to food for cookbooks to chocolate. What fun to have a complete tasting. We have a small chocolatier in the town down the road and his chocolate is fantastic. I love going to a chocolate shop here and just buying a piece of chocolate and sitting and eating it while sipping on a cappuccino.
    Great recipe, like Caroline, I've had it a chocolate sauce with venison but not beef. This one will go in my file as I wish to give this a try for our next dinner party.

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    1. How wonderful to have a chocolatier in town - we finally have one, as well, and I hope to write more about them soon. It was Enna who told me that the Tucson chocolatier has won myriad awards this year!

      I must get some venison now that both you and Caroline have out it into my head...

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  14. David, what a beautiful plate of food! I can taste it now! And you have reminded me that I need to do something with Jerusalem artichokes. Next time steak is on the menu …

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    1. Thanks, Jean - Sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes are so often overlooked! Enjoy!

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  15. Enna must be over the moon with this recipe you created from her cocoa and chocolate! What a wonderful thing to do, David! Looks so lovely, too!

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    1. She really loved the write up9s) and recipe - I hope she makes it someday, Christina!

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  16. David, this sauce is exquisite! What an elegant dinner! Gorgeous steaks and love the Jerusalem artichoke in the potatoes. I checked out Enna Chocolate online. I can't wait to try some of her chocolates!

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    1. Glad you went over to check out her online store, Kelly - she has some really creative items!

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