Chocolate And Steak Is The Unlikely Pairing That Brings Rich Results

Few would argue that steak and chocolate are among some of our favorite "guilty" pleasures. There's nothing quite like the balance of a savory, juicy steak followed by the delicate sweetness of creamy chocolate. But what if the two were merged in one dish? The idea seems daring, but when we break down the flavor profiles of each, it becomes clear that this actually could be a match made in heaven.

First, let's take a look at what chocolate really is. Without the added sugars and dairy, chocolate is just cacao, which has a very bland but bitter, earthy taste. This means that combined with the correct ingredients, we can manipulate chocolate to fit the bill with a multitude of pairings — including steak. For example, adding herbs like thyme or bay leaves can amplify the savory aspects that are naturally found in its cacao flavor.

When it comes to steak, it has many different flavor notes. Depending on the cut, you may taste everything from nutty and buttery to fatty and salty. Like cacao, steak is mild enough that it can be played with and enhanced depending on what it's seasoned, marinated, and dressed with. When the earthiness of cacao meets the nuttiness of a steak, you're in for a richly divine combination.

Ways to pair chocolate and steak

Melting a Hershey's bar on top of a steak might not exactly be the taste you're looking for, so you're likely going to have to do a bit of doctoring to make this pairing work. When choosing your chocolate, reach for one that is high-quality and make sure it has a high percentage of cocoa. A great route to go is by preparing a chocolate sauce and adding it on top of an already seasoned and cooked steak (Note: Adding chocolate in too early and exposing it to too much heat can result in flavor loss). Incorporating additions to the sauce — like red wine, ground espresso, savory herbs, spices, and butter — will help bring out the richness needed for the heaviness of red meat.

Moreover, melting bittersweet chocolate into your beef stew right before serving is a fantastic way to thicken and enrich the gravy sauce. The delicate touch of sweetness that it brings to the dish is just enough to broaden the flavor profile to the next level. Feel free to get creative with your chocolate and steak pairings, as sweet and savory is a classic combination that's hard to mess up.