Coffee and Chocolate Encrusted Beef Tenderloin with Tortilla Sauce
I rarely eat beef. Maybe twice a year. So when I do, I make it worth my while. I buy the best, and I make sure I give it the royal treatment. The recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I saw in The Times years ago with some influence of tortilla sauces I've made in the past. It's a beautiful buffet dish because it does very well at room temperature. Consider slicing it very thin and serving the sauce separately.
Coffee, chocolate, and chilis are natural friends. After you try the combination, it becomes difficult to imagine them separately. The trio does well in sweet and savory situations; pairing with beef as well as whipped cream.
Corn tortillas are my preference in any tortilla situation. Their role in this sauce is significant. They lend a rustic flavor that is the perfect background to the smoky chipotle and dried chilies.
Please remember to trust your thermometer. Overcooked beef is a tragedy, and I promise you this is not an inexpensive cut of meat. The temperature will continue to rise after cooking, and generally, the outer edges of the meat will be a bit more done than the center. That should be perfect for accommodating your guests' preferences.