As promised, here is the lowdown on the steak au poivre I made for dinner last night. Although I promised a few photos, I got ambitious and decided to video the whole process on my trusty Droid Razr Maxx. The result is embedded below. It's my first foray into video blogging, so please be understanding of the underwhelming production values, bad lighting and spotty audio. The recipe, which is essentially my own which I have been making for years, and then standardized recently with the help of Alton Brown and "Good Eats", follows the video.
Enjoy, and leave your comments below.
Recipe for Steak au Poivre
- 2 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 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.
- 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 medium 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 most of the excess fat, covering about 2 teaspoons but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
- Over medium low heat, saute the shallots until they are translucent.
- Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. 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.