Chocolate Sauce for Steak and Strawberries

Strawberries served with chocolate sauce. A tasty treat!
Don’t think starting with this dessert photo will hurt your appetite!

What better way to get ready for chocolate’s big day than to feature it in the main course as well as for dessert? I got quite the tasty assortment of chocolates to test out in advance of the big Chocolate Fest coming up this Saturday at Whole Foods Market Woburn. Encouraged to be creative, I noticed New York Strip Steaks were on sale this past weekend, and recalled having enjoyed a recipe for a meat sauce that called for a bit of dark chocolate. So chocolate and beef can work together, and I thought I’d try to come up with my own version of that combination.

steak and chocolate can be a pretty tasty combination
steak + chocolate, why not!

I was aiming for a spicy chocolate sauce, thinking a bit of the flavors in a mole sauce. As it turns out, I didn’t add quite enough of the ancho chile powder to give it the kick I had in mind–I used 2 tsps, but you might try a higher amount. I list cayenne pepper as an optional ingredient, as I didn’t use cayenne this time but would do so in trying to make a spicier version next time.

Though it wasn’t as spicy as I had in mind, the spices did add a bit of complexity to the sauce. The richness of the chocolate was certain tasty on the savory meat. I had plans to make a separate dessert chocolate sauce for strawberries, but seeing how the steak sauce wasn’t to spicy, I simply melted a bit more chocolate into the steak sauce that remained after dinner, and dipped the strawberries in that. I was pretty pleased with the result!

On to the recipe, with the caveat that this is a work in progress, and I’d welcome any improvements you come up with!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp minced shallots
1/4 cup port
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 beef stock*

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2 to 3 tsp pure ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch cinnamon
optional: cayenne pepper to taste (perhaps 1/4 tsp or so)
1 oz shredded bits of good quality chocolate–I used the Whole Food Callebaut bittersweet block of chocolate (60% cocoa solids) for this, and found scraping the edges with a large chopping knife created nice shredded chocolate.

1 lb or so NY Strip Steak or other good quality cut, rubbed with a little garlic, cumin and salt
fresh strawberries for dipping

When it’s not grilling season, I like to sear my steak for a minute or two per site on the stove top, then roast at 400 to the desired doneness. It took about 14 minutes in the oven for thick steak we had for this meal.

You can prepare the sauce while steaks cook. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the shallots, cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the port and balsamic vinegar, simmer about 5 minutes until the port has reduced by about 1/2 and begun to thicken. add the beef stock and simmer, then stir in the spices, chile powder through cayenne. After adding the spices, stir in the chocolate, and heat on medium to melt. Stir the chocolate occasionally, making sure it is thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients.

Once the chocolate sauce is done, keep it on very low heat to maintain the thick liquid consistency, as the steak finishes cooking. Let the steak rest for a few minutes after cooking, then cut into thin slices. To serve, place 3 or 4 slices on each place, then drizzle with the chocolate sauce.

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After you’ve enjoyed your steak and cleared the table, add a couple more tablespoons to the chocolate saucepan. Heat this chocolate along with any remaining steak sauce until the chocolate has melted. Place a few strawberries on each plate, and add a scoop of the chocolate sauce alongside it. Dip the strawberries into the sauce as you go, and enjoy!

strawberries served with chocolate sauce. Yum!

*Note: I referenced this sauce recipe from to get some ideas regarding ingredients and proportions. I actually didn’t use the beef stock because I was hesitant to open a big container for such a small amount, but found myself need to add extra port and water to get the right consistency. I’d say using the beef stock would be the way to go.

Full disclosure: Whole Foods provided the chocolate samples referenced in this post to spread word about the upcoming chocolate fest. The recipe and opinions here are my own!

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