Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Steak au Poivre (also: Yum Yum Yum)

Peppercorn heart from findingthenow on Flickr
Dave makes this maybe once every couple of years, and tonight was my lucky night.

Note: there is no photo for this recipe because I did not want to pause before digging in. Cognac, cream,  pepper, and a wonderful steak are not the sort of things that invite self control.

What you need:
 - 2 beef tenderloin steaks (filet mignon)
 - 2 tbsp whole peppercorns
 - 1 tbsp unsalted butter
 - 1 tbsp olive oil
 - kosher salt
 - 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp cognac
 - 1 cup heavy cream

What you do: 
1.  Remove steaks from refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.   Lightly salt with kosher salt.  Cover and let sit.

2.  Crack peppercorns with rolling pin, skillet, or mallet.  Works best inside a ziplock bag.

3.  Spread cracked peppercorns on a plate.  Firmly press steaks into peppercorns, coating both sides.

4.  In a skillet on medium heat, melt olive oil and butter.   Cook steaks 4 minutes per side for medium rare.   When finished, set steaks aside and cover.  Do not clean skillet.

5.  Remove skillet from heat and add 1/3 cup cognac.  Ignite alcohol with a match.  When flames die, return to medium heat and add cream.  Whisk cream for 5 minutes or so, until it coats the back of a spoon.  Add 2 tbsp cognac and salt to taste.

6.  Slice steaks into strips and plate.  Pour cream over steaks.

7.  Enjoy with a nice Bordeaux.  2005 is a very good year.

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