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.