Monday, September 14, 2009
You tell me it's the institution...
You know what I know love about Steaks au Poivre? Absolutely every fricken' thing possible.
There is something about fork tender beef, f**kloads of fresh cracked peppercorns, a healthy dollop of butter and cognac.
The first time I ever tried a Steaks au Poivre was at SamB's in BG, and it was the only dish I ever ordered until those pricks took it off the menu. Actually I recall going there less after that too...
Anyways, I was immediately captivated by this dish. Outside of the Brown Jug at Trotters, there is no better way to serve a steak. Yeah, that is a bold claim. But I stand by it. Whenever I go to a restaurant which prepares steaks, I always look for an au poivre option. Most places, however, don't. The Grand Finale in Glendale is the only place I know of around here but Kerrie and I only make it out there once, maybe twice, a year.
So you can imagine my excitement, my pure bliss, in scoring a few filets of beef - perfect for steaks au poivre and a nice bottle of burgundy.
To make a good au poivre, only a few essential items are necessary. A heavy pan, some beef filets, heavy cream and cognac. Butter, Sea Salt, Olive Oil, and Peppercorns should be part of your on-hand inventory.
Peppercorns, are the key ingredient in this dish. They form an amazing crust, not entirely spicy. On top of that, they balance with the creamy cognac sauce.
The other dirty secret about steaks au poivre is that is stupid-easy to make. If you know the rules, and have your prep ready, this dish comes together in mere minutes.
Steaks au Poivre
1 T Olive Oil
1 T Butter
2 Beef Filets
Crushed peppercorns (enough to coat both sides of the beef generously)
1/3 cup Cognac
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 T Butter
Start by bringing your beef to room temp, about 1 hour.
Lightly rub the beef with a small amount of Sea Salt on both sides.
Press the peppercorns into the filets on both sides. Don't be stingy.
Over medium heat, melt 1 T of butter into the olive oil in a pan big enough to hold both filets.
Sear the filets for 4 minutes on each side for medium rare.
Set steaks aside and remove pan from heat.
Quickly, but carefully, pour the cognac into the pan and scrape up all the fond that is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Return pan to heat and add the cream.
Reduce the sauce, stirring constantly, until thickened - about 5 minutes.
Finish the sauce with 1 T butter and divide between the two filets.
The French serve this dish with fries. I'm partial to garlic mashed potatoes and field greens. Either way, you really can't go wrong with a dish like this. You just can't...