Cocoa Chipotle Beef Tenderloin Roast with Vanilla-Rosemary Demi-Glace

Temps des Fêtes 2013
food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

Inspired by Chef Jay Nutt’s creation for a special dinner honouring local artists at Nuttshell Next Door Café in Lakefield, Ont., this recipe allows you to create your own work of art that will dazzle your guests and keep them talking about it for ages. The most tender of beef cuts gets a spice rub that is simple in technique but complex in flavour and is complemented by a luxurious, fragrant demi-glace. The demi-glace does involve a few steps and quite a bit of cooking time but it can be started a few days ahead of serving, and the results are worth every minute of preparation. You can usually find beef soup bones at the supermarket or a butcher shop. If you don’t see them, just ask, as they may keep them in the back. Be sure to use a good digital meat thermometer so you can pull the roast out of the oven as soon as it’s cooked to perfection.

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
5 lbs (2.2 kg) beef soup bones
1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, cut in chunks
2 stalks celery, cut in chunks
14 cups (3.5 L) approx. water
½ cup (125 mL) parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) whole black peppercorns
¼ vanilla bean, split
½ tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp (45 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp (30 mL) sweet paprika
2 tsp (10 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground pepper
¾ tsp (4 mL) chipotle pepper powder
1 beef tenderloin oven roast, 3 lbs (1.5 kg)

1 For the demi-glace, preheat oven to 400°F(200°C).

2 Combine oil and bones in a large roasting pan and stir to coat. Roast for 30 minutes or until bones start to brown. Stir in onion, carrots and celery. Roast for about 1 hour or until vegetables and bones are well-browned, but not burnt.

3 Scrape bones and vegetables and any pan juices into a large stockpot. Pour 1 cup (250 mL) of the water into roasting pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up brown bits from pan. Pour into stockpot and add parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and remaining water, adding more, if necessary, to cover ingredients by 1 inch (2.5 cm).

4 Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer, skimming off fat and any scum from top and without stirring, for about 6 hours or until stock is flavourful. Strain out solids and transfer stock to a clean pot. Refrigerate overnight.

5 Scrape off solidified fat and discard. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for about 1 hour or until reduced to about 2 cups (500 mL). (Demi-glace can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

6 For the roast, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

7 Combine cocoa powder, paprika, sugar, salt, pepper and chipotle powder in a small bowl, breaking up any lumps. Rub all over roast, pressing and rubbing well to coat generously. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

8 Roast for 10 minutes.

9 Turn heat down to 275°F (140°C).

10 Roast for about 45 minutes or until meat thermometer in the thickest part of the tenderloin reads 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare. Place roast on cutting board and tent with foil for 15 minutes.

11 While beef is roasting, finish demi-glace. If demi-glace has been chilled, return to a simmer over medium heat. Add vanilla bean and rosemary, reduce heat to low and steep for about 30 minutes or until flavours are infused. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Keep warm in a covered saucepan over low heat.

12 Cut roast into about ½-inch-thick (1-cm) slices across the grain. Spoon demi-glace onto plates and top with beef.

Serves 8

What to Serve