Steak Au Poivre
Time requirement: 15-20 minutes. Plus, the day before soak the green peppercorns in cognac.
Generally, Steak Au Poivre is a dish I avoid because it is prepared with beef fillet. While the fillet is wonderful, it is a delicate and shy cut of meat. It does not pack a lot of flavor. At the same time, the “au poivre” packs a lot of flavor. In my opinion it is a poor match. I recommend, the chuck eye, a well marbled New York strip, or a ribeye that has a well marble eye (the center of the ribeye steak).
What you will need:
The day before, or at least in the morning, soak 1 tablespoon of dried green peppercorns in ¼ cup cognac.
2 chuck eye steaks about 6-ounces each and 1 to 1¼ inch thick. Alternatively, choose a single ribeye, or New York strip, each about 12-16 ounces and 1 to 1 ¼ inch thick. I select the chuck eye because is a good size 5-6 pounces each), it has a portion of the tender ribeye plus some chewier tasty bits of the chuck, and plenty of marbling. It holds up well to the pepper sauce.
¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
2 tablespoons finely diced or chopped shallots
1 tablespoon clarified butter (or ½ tablespoons refined (not extra virgin) olive oil and ½ tablespoon butter.
½ cup veal stock (or use an unsalted beef stock from the store).
¼ to – ½ cup heavy cream.
A dash or two of worchester sauce.
Warm serving plates.
Preheat oven to 250 degree and place in it a pan for the steaks to rest while the sauce is prepared.
As noted, cover 1 tablespoon of green peppercorns and with ¼ cup cognac, preferable 8-24 hour in advance.
Pat dry the meat with paper towel and sprinkle with the salt. If time allows, let the meat rest on the counter 30-60 minutes.
Select a frypan that will accommodate your steak(s). Heat it over a medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the clarified butter (or the butter/oil combination). When the oil is hot slip your steaks in the pan and cook for two minutes on each side. This should allow for a nice even browning on both sides. Remove the steaks to the pan in the oven.
Add the shallots to the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until they are soft and take on a little color.
Pour the combination of green peppercorns and cognac to the pan. Stir and let the cognac burn off. Add the veal stock to the pan and worchester sauce. You can use as much as ½ teaspoon worchester sauce. Reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce my half. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust for salt.
Place you steaks on warm serving plates and divided the sauce between them.
Note: The peppercorns are spicy hot. To me they are too much. I find there is plenty of the fire from them in the cognac, so I typically eat around them. You can decide what you like.