Once upon a time long, long ago Hubby and I called Southern Nevada home. We loved living in the dessert. It was this appreciation for the red earth that drew us to New Mexico for a much needed couples-only road trip.
The drive was beautiful. The landscape breathtaking – rugged rock formations stretching up to touch a deep blue sky. New Mexico is like taking a giant step back in time to a place that is unspoiled by modern life.
It is also the only place in the world that someone from Las Vegas, when “Where are you from?” must clarify “Las Vegas, Nevada”. If not, you would hear a second question – “which one?” Any place else on the planet and the name “Las Vegas” immediately conjures images of the strip. One would be hard pressed to get Las Vegas Nevada and Las Vegas New Mexico confused.
One thing that stood out on our road trip was the cuisine of New Mexico. It is not to be confused with Mexican or Tex-Mex. The food of New Mexico is awesome, in a category all its own. If you are a huge fan of heat – as in chili-hot smoke coming out your ears hot, New Mexican cuisine is right up your taste-bud alley. Sit down to a meal at any authentic eatery in New Mexico and you’ll notice that sopapilla are brought to the table with your meal, along with a big bottle of honey. And for good reason – you need the honey to cool off your mouth between bites of incredibly spicy food. As huge fans of both spicy foods and sopapillas, we fell madly in love with New Mexican Cuisine. Make no mistake about it, this Filet Mignon is sizzling hot – New Mexican unbelievably HOT over-the-top OMG heat. Continue if you dare, but consider yourself properly warned.
For those of you brave enough to give this a try, let me further put out a warning – your kitchen is going to become a disaster area – this dish creates a major mess. If you are like me, you’ll want to serve these awesome steaks alongside some delicious from-scratch Black Beans and if possible a big helping of Sopapillas, all of which will amplify the mess. (You could skip some of the mess by frying up some canned black beans and serving a chaser of Mango Sorbet). Mess aside, the end result is so worth the effort. This recipe will feed 8, with plenty of sauce left over for other uses (maybe smothered chicken or to use in a crock-pot recipe with chunks of pork). If cooking for less, don’t scrimp on the sauce – just plan on more leftover for other uses. You could even freeze the sauce for later use.
New Mexican Filet Mignon with Sizzling Chipotle Sauce
Ingredients – Chipotle Sauce
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 small cans Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce
1 tablespoon Chile Ancho
1 White onions, quarter
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher Salt to taste
3 Small Cans Tomatillos
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
1/2 cup Beef Stock
Heat vegetable oil in frying pan. Add onions seasoned with Chile Ancho. Fry briefly, until onions become somewhat tender. While onions are frying, place canned Tomatillos in boiling water and boil briefly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove Tomatillos from water using a slotted spoon. Add to pan with onions. Continue to cook until everything is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, pour mixture into a blender. Add cilantro and blend. (This can be done several hours ahead. Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to use).
Transfer sauce to a saucepan, add beef stock and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little more beef stock. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm and prepare steaks.
Ingredients – Filet Mignon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Olive oil
8 beef filets (Filet Mignon) 5-6 oz each
Salt to taste
8 corn tortillas, 4-inch diameter; fried in oil
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese, 3 oz each
Remove steaks from refrigerator. Season with salt and set aside on the counter to rest.
Heat a heavy, dry frying pan for over low heat for 25 minutes. (Cast Iron skillet works nicely). Once skillet is hot, add a little butter and oil. Allow oil and butter to heat about 2-3 minutes. Without over crowding the pan, place steaks in the skillet to sear well. (If necessary, sear steaks in two batches). Cook filets for 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat with remaining filets. Remove second batch of filets and keep warm.
To now empty skillet add about 1/2 of the sauce. Return filets to skillet and coat with sauce. Heat for about 5-8 minutes.
Place tortillas on a baking sheet. Place a steak on each tortilla. Top with cheese and pop under the broiler until cheese melts.
To serve: Generously ladle sauce from the pan onto plates. Top with tortilla and steak. If desired, ladle additional sauce over steak. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired, and serve.