Saveur. Saveur

When chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie invented this dish, its simplicity shocked him. Something that tasted this good, he thought, surely must be harder to make.

Coffee-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Coffee-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
This recipe's simplicity belies its succulent, complex taste.
Yield: serves 6


  • 4 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 12 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 34 tsp. pepper
  • 1 (2-lb.) piece of beef tenderloin
  • 1 12 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. very finely ground coffee
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 18 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Toast guajillo chiles and ancho chiles in a skillet over medium heat for 4–5 minutes; soak in warm water until soft, about 30 minutes. Purée chiles, 1 cup soaking liquid, garlic, chipotle chiles, and onions in a blender until smooth.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add purée, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Add brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and 1⁄4 tsp. of the pepper; simmer until thickened, 12–14 minutes more; let sauce cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°. Tie tenderloin with butcher’s twine at 1⁄2″ intervals. Rub with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, sea salt, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. pepper; brush all over with 2 tbsp. sauce (save remainder for another use).
  4. Combine coffee, cocoa powder, and cinnamon; roll beef in mixture to coat. Place beef on a rack in a roasting pan; let sit for 30 minutes. Roast for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 225° and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 125°, about 50 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes. Remove twine and slice.