Valentine’s Day dish that is also heart healthy!

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Here’s a perfect meal for two to four people that combines chocolate, beef tenderloin, and red cherries.

February also heart healthy month, so we wanted to keep the recipe low fat and to incorporate many heart healthy foods as possible.

We will be pairing this dish with fresh roasted asparagus (for both color and health). Heart healthy ingredients included in recipe include: dark chocolate, garlic, red wine, cherries, and asparagus.

Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Cherry Cocoa Sauce


  • 1 1/4 pound center cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon canola or sunflower oil, plus oil to brush beef
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground coarse black peppercorns
  • Coarse sea salt (preferably grey) to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder



  • 2 teaspoons sunflower or canola oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots (about 1 large shallot)
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic (about one clove)
  • 3/4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup ruby port wine
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries pitted and coarsely chopped (about 10)
  • ½ ounce dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa) melted
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch fine black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and position rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Brush beef with a very thin coating of oil. Rub tenderloin evenly with cocoa and then liberally season with sea salt.
  3. Place freshly ground pepper on parchment or wax paper, and roll beef in the peppercorns until the meat is evenly coated.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of oil in 10-12 inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until oil starts to bubble.
  5. Place beef in the pan and cook over high heat for 3 minutes on each side until brown.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees for rare, (or you may leave in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes for medium rare at 130, or longer for well-done meat).
  7. Remove the tenderloin from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes (the temperature of the meat will rise by 5 degrees). Cook the sauce while the meat is resting.
  8. Cut the roast into four or five even slices and serve immediately with port wine chocolate cherry sauce.


  1. Melt chocolate in a ramekin in microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and add shallots. Sauté under medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in Port and cook on medium high uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Add beef stock, and cherries. Cook under medium high heat for 10 minutes until cherries are soft and liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Add chocolate and stir until completely blended.
  7. Add cornstarch and cook under medium heat until sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove from heat and gently spoon over beef tenderloins.

Heide Lang; Exec Chef/Owner, The Fig Cooking School