Steak au Poivre

Simply delicious.  That's all I really need to say.  Firstly, who doesn't like well-cooked steak that has been heavily seasoned with black pepper, thus creating a smoky, earthy, and almost spicy sensation?  Secondly, when said steak is topped with a shallot-and-cream sauce, who doesn't jump for joy? 

I don't know about you, but this is one of those meals that holds a special place for me; maybe it's the good memories I have from eating it at steakhouses, but I think it's more likely the deep satisfaction I get from eating a good-quality strip steak doused in a sumptuous sauce.  Yum.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe for a damn good (and easy) steak au poivre.

Steak au Poivre - serves 1
Although I think good-quality food is always a must, it is especially important with steak.  The better the quality of the filet (meaning tender, very lean, and a uniform bright red in color), the tastier this dish will be, hands down.

1 8 oz top-loin strip steak (if you're not sure what kind of steak this is, tell your butcher you're making steak au poivre, and he/she should know what to give you)
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 shallot
1 tablespoon butter
1/4-cup cognac or brandy
3 tablespoons heavy cream

1.  Wash and pat dry the steak and rub with salt. Coarsely crush the peppercorns with the bottom of a skillet, and rub half of the peppercorns onto the steak.
2.  Heat a small skillet over high heat, and pour in the remaining peppercorns.  Once the skillet is hot (about 3-4 minutes), place the steak on it and cook through, about 8 minutes for medium rare (this depends however on the thickness of your steak - like I always say, if you're not sure about the doneness, cut the middle open with a sharp knife and check).
3.  Remove the steak from heat and put it on a plate - you can either slice the steak up into slices (like I did in the photo) or keep it as is.  Cover with foil to keep warm.
4.  Pour off fat from skillet and add half of butter and the shallot, and cook over medium heat until shallots are golden, about 4-5 minutes.
5.  Add cognac (be careful - it might flame up for a bit), and cook until reduced slightly, 3 minutes.
6.  Add heavy cream and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
7.  Add remaining butter and cook 2 minutes.  Pour sauce over steak and enjoy!! 

Merci, a demain!


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