Steak au Poivre: Old School
The husband's dinner request last night was for MEAT & CARBS.
His words "I am starting to sprout leaves".
I guess I have been making too many vegetables lately. Poor guy.
Let's go "old school" and make steak au poivre. A recipe that will never go out of style in my book.
It's so simple, yet so fancy.
Get out your good china.
This is the easiest and best method to prepare steak au poivre.
The recipe is from Alton Brown, and I like it even better than Julia Child's! (shhhh).
Old School Steak au Poivre: (adapted from Alton Brown)
4 beef tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup heavy cream
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.
I buy the whole beef tenderloin in the vacuum package when it is on sale.
I have either the butcher trim it for me, or trim it myself, as I did this time.
Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil.
As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan.
For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or fire stick. (WHAT ALTON NEGLECTS TO TELL YOU IS TO STAND FAR AWAY FROM THE PAN WHILE IGNITING, BECAUSE THE HIGH FLAMES WILL BURN YOUR EYELASHES RIGHT OFF!).
Gently shake pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream.
Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt.
Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.
It's a good thing I take requests.