Steak au Poivre
Properly prepared, Steak au Poivre is delicious especially when not totally camouflaged by the pepper and the brandy. Often these recipes call for flambé which is more often for show versus flavor. This recipe is an adaptation from Julia Child’s classic.
- 4 1 1/2" thick Filet Mignon (beef tenderloin steaks)
- 2 TB whole mixed or black peppers
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- 2 TB minced shallots or green onions
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/3 cup cognac or good brandy (you can use a good brandy and save $)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or creme fraiche, sour cream or butter)
- Parsley for garnish
Crush the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle
Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Rub and press the crushed peppercorns into both sides of the steaks; cover and let stand for at least an hour
Put in a heavy pan or large cast iron skillet over high heat. When the surface is nearly smoking, add 1T butter and oil – let it bubble then add the steaks. Adjust heat to keep steaks sizzling.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on first side until seared and nicely browned. Turn steaks and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer steaks to warm platter and cover.
Pour off any fat from the skillet, add remaining butter and shallots or green onions and cook slowly for about a minute. Pour in the stock and boil down rapidly over high heat while scrapping any brown bits. Add the cognac and boil rapidly for 2 minutes or more to evaporate the alcohol. Stir in the butter or heavy cream and cook until the sauce is lightly thickened. (Notes: some prefer to add the brandy before the stock as it will burn off the alcohol more quickly. Any of the creams may add a more subtle flavor than the butter alone.)
Return steaks to pan to warm, spooning sauce over them and turning once. Interior temperature should be 135° for medium rare.