Need to punch up that beef tenderloin you’re cooking for the holidays? Try a sweet and smoky steak sauce loaded with figs and two types of chiles.
When our local butcher shop displayed a big sign saying “Free Wine Tasting,” the CompostMaster couldn’t resist. While he was sampling and chatting, I was ogling all of the meat and fresh seafood. To justify spending a small fortune on beef tenderloin and red wine, we declared it would be our romantic pre-Christmas meal.
The CompostMaster LOVES figs. (I’m not sure I had ever eaten a fresh fig until I met him. Now, I have at least one fig tree wherever I live.) We had some dried figs in the pantry reminding me of a recipe I never made. I thought a smoky steak sauce featuring the figs would work really nicely with the beef and it would free up some pantry space.
After I made the steak sauce, I tasted it and wasn’t quite sure what I thought. It was a tiny bit sweet and smoky, but not overly spicy. Then I dabbed a little on a bite of the beef. Wow! It really perked up our perfectly grilled tenderloin.
Steak Sauce with Figs and Chiles
- 7 ounces dried figs stems removed, cut into quarters
- 2 dried chiles guajilllo or ancho, stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 small sweet onion coarsely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups water
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce from can
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan (3-quart), combine figs, dried chiles, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until figs soften, about 40 minutes. Cool.
Remove bay leaf and discard. Place fig mixture in blender or food processor and add chipotle chile, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
Serve immediately, then refrigerate leftover sauce.
To remove seeds from dried chiles: Over a trash can using scissors, chop off the stem end of the pepper, then cut down the side to open it up like a book. Dump the seeds into the trash can.