Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and once again we’ll be staying in with a romantic home-cooked dinner for two. This is THE holiday out in the restaurant scene, which means that you need reservations weeks in advance and you’ll probably be restricted to a set menu. For me, a lovely meal at home with some extra touches is a much nicer way to spend the evening. This year I’m doing beef tenderloins with a dusting of espresso and, of course, chocolate! This is so easy it’s almost impossible to have it go wrong, just be sure not to overcook the meat: when it comes to tenderloin, less is definitely more. Serve it alongside Chèvre Mashed Potatoes and a Warm Winter Salad with Red Cabbage & Pancetta followed by a Chocolate Truffle Tart for two and your loved one will definitely feel spoiled!
- 2 lb. piece of beef tenderloin
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. very finely ground coffee
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix together the salt, coffee, cocoa and cinnamon. Dry the tenderloin medallions on a paper towel and then press all sides into the mixture so that they are well crusted. Heat a good pan to medium high heat and pour in the olive oil. Sear the tenderloins on both side and then place them on a baking sheet – finish in the oven for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare 12-15 for medium. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve immediately with Cracked Pepper Cream.
Cracked Pepper Cream
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely cut lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 3 Tbsp. cognac
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. black peppercorns roughly cracked
In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and sauté the shallot over low heat until soft. Add the stock to the pan and allow it to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, and peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes. Keep warm until serving.Pin It