Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/2 lb tuna steaks, cut into large chunks
- Kosher salt
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 2 roasted red peppers (jarred is fine)
- 6 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 T. thyme leaves
- 2 T. oregano leaves (1 T. if dried)
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 3 T. sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 T. sherry vinegar (white wine vinegar is OK)
- 1/2 cup sherry or white wine
- 2 T. chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the sauce. Start by soaking the dried ancho chiles until soft, which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Once they are soft, remove stems and seeds and chop finely.
Add the ancho chiles to a food processor, then add the chopped garlic, the roasted red peppers (chop them if they're in big pieces), the thyme, oregano, cumin, about 1 teaspoon of salt and the paprika. Buzz at low speed to combine.
Add the sherry vinegar and the sherry, then buzz again -- this time on high speed. You want it to be a thick liquid. If it is still paste-like, add a little water. Turn the food processor on again and add about half the olive oil into the sauce in a slow stream.
Salt the tuna steaks well and set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large, deep frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the tuna well on one side, about 3 minutes. The steaks will release from the bottom of the pan when they're ready; don't pry them off.
After the first side is seared, turn the tuna over and pour in the sauce around the fish, being careful not to get any on the seared part -- you want that to be nice and crispy. Swirl the pan around and bring the sauce to a boil. Let it cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Let the fish stand in the pan for another 3-4 minutes, then serve garnished with the chopped parsley with potatoes and sauteed greens, such as chard, collards, mustard greens or spinach.
This dish goes best with a light red wine such as a Pinot Noir or Sangiovese, or with a robust Spanish or Portuguese rose.