Sunday, December 28, 2014

Steak Au Poivre (Steak with Peppercorn Sauce)

This classic French dish is typically sautéed Filet Mignon coated with cracked black peppercorns served with a pan sauce consisting of minced shallots, brined green peppercorns, cognac, beef broth, and heavy cream. But since I'm an aficionado of and sucker for ribeyes, that's my preferred steak of choice for this recipe. Super easy to make and sooooo delish! The inner carnivore in you will be more than satiated! If you can't find brined green peppercorns in your local neighborhood market (which I frankly couldn't - ended up buying this stuff online), I've included a recipe for brining your own green peppercorns from the dried variety. 

4 ribeye steaks
1 1/2 tbsp. coarsely crushed black peppercorns 
Kosher salt

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 scallions, chopped (white & green parts separated)
1 3/4 cups unsalted beef broth
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
2 tbsp. brined green peppercorns, drained & slightly crushed*
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt 

1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced (optional) for garnish

*If you can't find brined green peppercorns, you can make your own: add 2 tbsp. dried green peppercorns to 1 cup of very hot water, 2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar. Stir, cover, and let soak for 2 hours or overnight. Drain before using. 

1. Crush the black peppercorns coarsely using a mortar and pestle. Coat both sides of the steaks with the crushed peppercorns and a sprinkling of kosher salt. 

2. So as not to overcrowd the steaks when cooking, cook the steaks in two batches. Heat 4 tbsp. of butter in the pan and heat over medium high heat. Add two steaks to the pan and cook them 5-6 minutes each side for medium. Remove the steaks to a platter, tent with foil, and set aside (inside an oven that's not on is a perfect place). Repeat with the remaining two steaks.

4. In the same pan with the pan drippings, add the minced shallots and the chopped white parts of the scallions. Saute briefly and add the cognac to deglaze. Add the beef broth and crushed green peppercorns and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced. 

5. Add the heavy cream to the sauce and cook until thickened. Pour any juices that have rendered out from the steaks into the sauce, stir, and remove pan from the heat. 

6. Place the steaks onto individual serving plates and ladle sauce over each. Garnish with the sliced green parts of scallions and minced parsley. 

If you can't find brined green peppercorns, you can make your own. Just combine dried green peppercorns with hot water, salt, and white wine vinegar and let soak at least a couple hours or overnight before using.  

Chopped scallions and minced shallots.  

Homemade brined green peppercorns.  

Crush whole black peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.  

These are some mondo ribeye steaks from Costco.  

Season both sides of the steaks with the crushed black peppercorns and kosher salt.  

Melt 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter in a large saute pan.  

Saute the steaks in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook 5-6 minutes each side for medium.  

Place the steaks on a platter, tent with foil and set aside.  

In the pan drippings, saute the minced shallots and white parts of the scallions. Deglaze with cognac. 

Add the beef broth and crushed green peppercorns. Simmer for 15 minutes to reduce. 

Add the cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened.  

Pour any accumulated juices from the steak into the sauce and stir to incorporate.

Place steaks onto individual plates, ladle sauce over and garnish with scallion greens and parsley. 

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