Saturday, November 2, 2013

Steak Au Poivre

Steaks coated with ground pepper

Steaks sauteeing in butter

Flambeeing with Cognac
Steak Au Poivre

Steak au Poivre
 4 7-oz fillet steaks
2 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
1 ½ oz butter
3 tablespoons Cognac
¼ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1.        Rub steaks on both sides with the oil and press the crushed peppercorns into the meat.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the steaks for 2-4 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.
2.       Add the Cognac and flambé by lighting the pan with a match.  Stand back when you do this and have a pan lid in case of a flare up.  Put the steaks on a hot plate.  Add the wine to the pan and boil, stirring, for 1 minute to deglaze the pan.  Add the cream and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Season and pour over the steaks.
In 1983 my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by taking our entire family to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  As I was enamored with the French language at the time I decided to practice by ordering the Steak au Poivre.  I don’t know whether it was the waiter’s ignorance or the background chatter going on but what I got wasn’t Steak au Poivre.  So when I saw this recipe I had to make it.  I’ve waited 30 years to taste this dish!
I thought that the steaks were merely coated with crushed/ground pepper.  I was surprised to read that they are fried in butter and flambéed.  Oh goody, another chance to flambé something!! 
Oh, it was delicious!  Frying crushed peppercorns on the meat mellowed out its spicy bite.  The steaks were tender, and the creamy sauce was velvety.  Definitely something to have again!

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