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Beef Tenderloin with Spicy Latin Sauces

Nobu Matsuhisa is one of the world's best-known chefs, with a worldwide modern Japanese empire. And now he'll be one of the world's first chefs to have his name on a hotel: the upcoming 180-room Nobu Hotel Las Vegas in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Always surprising, Matsuhisa is as expert with meat as he is with fish. Early in his career, he had a restaurant in Lima, Peru, where he learned to grill beef and make tangy, spicy red chile (aji panca) sauce and even spicier orange chile (aji amarillo) sauce. He serves both sauces with this seared beef tenderloin.


slideshow  More Amazing Steaks


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ají panca (red chile) paste or red hot sauce (see Note)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon ají amarillo (yellow chile) paste or Scotch Bonnet hot sauce (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh yuzu juice or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 inch thick


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the ají panca with the sake, vinegar, garlic, cumin and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk the ají amarillo with the soy sauce, lemon juice, yuzu juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the leeks, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes; keep warm.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet. Brush the steaks with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the steaks for about 5 minutes for medium-rare meat.
  5. Spoon the leeks onto plates and top with the steaks. Spoon both sauces on either side of the steaks and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The sauces can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Peruvian aji panca and aji amarillo pastes are available at many Latin American food stores and by mail order from tienda.com.

Contributed By Published July 2011

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