How to make it: Daniel Ampuero's beef with chocolate recipe

Learn how to make this Ecuadorian meat and chocolate combo.

By Daniel Ampuero
Published 2 Sept 2019, 16:22 BST
Beef with chocolate sauce
Beef with chocolate sauce.
Photograph by Gavin Wren

The young chef-chocolatier, who's making a name for himself in Guayaquil, Ecuador, shares his recipe for Andean beef with a rich, chocolate sauce.

Serves: 2
Takes: 35 mins

2 beef steaks (180g-200g each)
2 tbsp mild-flavoured oil
2 tbsp butter

For the chocolate sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 sprig rosemary
1 ½ tbsp mixed peppercorns, crushed
1 ½ cups cocoa juice (alternatively, use red wine)
1 ½ cups beef stock
¼ cup dark chocolate (70% or darker), finely grated or chopped


1. Start by preparing the sauce. Tip the butter into a saucepan and set over a medium heat, then saute the onion with the garlic, rosemary and peppercorns until the onion has softened but hasn’t yet begun to caramelise.
2. Add the cocoa juice and reduce until almost entirely evaporated. Pour in the stock and reduce until thick and saucy, about 10 mins.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the meat. Let the steaks rest on the counter until they reach room temperature, then lightly season. Pour the oil into a skillet and set over a medium-high heat.
4. Once warm, add the steaks and cook until rare or medium-rare, flipping halfway through (depending on the thickness, this should take 1-2 mins or 3-4 mins per side).
5. Add the butter, then spoon the melted butter over the steaks until they brown. Transfer the steaks to two plates and rest for 2 mins.
6. Whisk the chocolate into the sauce, making sure it doesn’t reach boiling point, then blend and strain. Drizzle the sauce over the steaks, then serve with truffle oil creamed potatoes, if you like.

Read all about how Ecuador fell back in love with chocolate here. 

Published in Issue 6 of National Geographic Traveller Food. 

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