Monday, August 11, 2008

Filet Mignon with Three-Chile Butter

Surprise - another Mexican post! But this post features what I was hoping to find in Mexican cooking - something other than what you see at your typical Americanized Mexican restaurant. Something other than what most people think of when they describe Mexican food.

I was browsing the Mexican section on the Epicurious a few weeks ago when I came across
this recipe for Beef with Three-Chile Butter. I saved it to my recipe box until last night.

The recipe called for dried ancho chilies and dried guajillo chilies, which I found in a Mexican market. In the picture below, the ancho, a dried poblano, is on top, and the guajillo is on the bottom.

This recipe was based on using a beef tenderloin roast. Since it was just the two of us, I used 2 filet mignons and cut the recipe for the sauce in half.


  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 whole chipotle chiles (from can), drained, stemmed, seeded, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  • Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add guajillo and ancho chile slices. Toast until fragrant and beginning to darken, stirring often, about 30 seconds.
  • Add butter, shallots, and chipotle chiles. Stir just until chiles are coated with butter and shallots begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup water and simmer until dried chiles are soft and all water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  • Mix in chives; season with salt.
  • Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before using. (I just gave my leftover sauce to my dad to pour over his London Broil tonight - we'll see how well it reheats, but I'm guessing it will be fine based on how it looked this morning)

While cooking, the sauce smelled like bacon from the smokiness of the chipotles. Here is how it looked when it had just about thickened in the pan:

Due to the nasty storms, we had to cook the filet mignon in the oven instead of on the grill. We drizzled each one with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then seared them in a pan on the stove before finishing them in the oven on 450. I sliced my filet and topped it with the sauce -

This has to be one of the best recipes I have tried recently. The sauce was not spicy at all - it had depth and fullness but did not overpower the filet (sounds like I am describing a wine!). And for how simple it was to make, I was extremely impressed.

I sauteed veggies to have with our steaks. Simple and colorful - 1 red pepper, 1 orange pepper, and 1/2 bag of frozen succotash (corn and lima beans). After heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan I added the peppers and some Kosher salt. 5 minutes later I added the frozen corn and lima beans and sauteed for 2 minutes. Aren't they so pretty? I love adding color to my plate.

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  1. This looks awesome.

    Next time you come to visit me in NY, we have to go here:

    It's really interesting Mexican food (and the view isn't half bad either)... dishes you'd never expect. Check out the menu!

  2. that butter sounds amazing! Oh, how I miss a good steak!