Chefs Robert Del Grande
Biography Restaurants Interview Recipes Reflections

Fillet of Beef Roasted with Coffee Beans in Pasilla Chile Broth
with Creamy White Grits, Greens and Wild Mushrooms

Adapted from Robert Del Grande

4 to 6 servings

Creamy White Grits (see recipe)

Fillet of Beef

2 pounds fillet of beef (preferably cut from the large end of the whole fillet)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons adobo (optional)
2 Tablespoons very finely ground coffee beans
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pasilla Chile Broth

1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled whole
2 Pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded, and torn into large pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
1 thick white corn tortilla
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Salt to taste

To prepare the fillet, tie the fillet of beef with butcher twine at 1/2-inch intervals. Rub the fillet well with the salt and pepper. Rub the fillet with the olive oil and the adobo. Combine the ground coffee, cocoa powder and cinnamon and mix well. Spread the mixture over a work surface and roll the fillet in the mixture to evenly coat the beef. Allow to marinate approximately 30 minutes.

For the Pasilla Chile Broth, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and sauté the onion and garlic cloves until nicely browned. Add the Pasilla chiles and tortilla pieces and slowly sauté until the ingredients are golden brown. Lower the heat to medium-low if necessary. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then simmer, lightly covered, for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the ingredients to a blender and purée for approximately 1 minute or until smooth. Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove any unpuréed pieces. Return the purée to a saucepot and add the cream, salt and brown sugar and whisk to blend. The sauce should not be too thick. If too thick, add some additional chicken stock or water for a lighter consistency. Reserve until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the fillet on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Roast the fillet for 10 minutes. Immediately lower the heat to 225°F. After 20 minutes, check the internal temperature of the fillet (125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium). If farther cooking is necessary, return the beef to the oven (still set at 225°F) and slowly roast to the desired temperature. Remove the fillet from the oven. Before carving, allow the fillet to rest, uncovered, in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

To serve, remove the string from the fillet. Carve the fillet into approximately 1/2-inch slices achieving 2 slices per person. Arrange 2 slices of fillet on each dinner plate. Spoon a small portion of the grits over each slice. Spoon a little sauce over the fillets and serve. Serve the remaining grits and sauce on the side.

Creamy White Grits with
Bitter Greens and Wild Mushrooms

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

4 cups water
1 1/4 cups coarse white grits
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 to 1 pound shiitake mushrooms (or other wild mushrooms), stems removed and caps cut into quarters
4 ounces arugula or other bitter greens, roughly chopped

For the grits, in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the grits while stirring. Bring the water back to a boil. Lower the heat to a very low simmer. Cover the pot but stir every 2 to 3 minutes until the grits are thick, about 20 minutes. If the grits become too thick, add a little water or chicken broth to adjust the consistency.

For the mushrooms and greens, in a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foaming. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté until lightly cooked. Add the greens and briefly sauté until wilted. Remove from the heat.

To serve, when the grits are cooked and ready to serve, stir the greens and mushroom mixture into the grits and serve immediately.

Wine Suggestion
Syrah-based wine: Rhone, California Syrah or Australia Syrah