Happy Friday everyone! It's been a great day here, I've been getting tons accomplished both in the garden and around the house. I spent the earlier part of my day finishing up errands and then headed out on a 3 mile trek in the chilly winter air, which felt great. What did not feel great were the two canvas bags (12 pounds each!) of books I wanted to trade in that accompanied me on each arm. I looked and felt like crazy person, but hey, I managed to make it downtown in a shockingly short period of time. My shoulders will thank me later, I'm sure. The load was lighter on the way home, but left me starving... Trying to maintain my good, healthy girl attitude was difficult, especially passing all of the mouth-watering Mexican establishments en route, but I stuck to my guns and had some fresh veggies and a tall glass of water when I returned.
I'm serious now. It's dinner time (protein time) and we're eating steak. Steak Au Poivre to be exact. Fire up the alcohol folks, it's meat cookin' time!
ERIC RIPERT'S STEAK AU POIVRE
6 tablespoons canola oil
4 (10 ounce) beef strip loin (NY
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons black
peppercorns, lightly crushed
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup brandy
¼ cup chicken or veal stock
½ cup cream
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Because black pepper has its own tannins, it is sometimes considered a “wine killer.” Many times, when the tannins of the pepper hit the tannins in wine, the entire flavor becomes what we call “short in the mouth,” meaning that the flavors come to a halt and the taste becomes very astringent. This steak au poivre recipe is a particular challenge because not only is the meat rubbed with lots of black pepper, you also pour a black pepper sauce over the steak.
Preheat oven to 500° F.
Heat canola oil in 2 large sauté pans over high heat. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper. When the oil is almost smoking, turn the heat down slightly, add the steaks and sear for 3 to 4 minutes until brown and crusted. Turn the steaks and transfer to the oven and roast for about 4 to 6 minutes or until a thermometer inserted reads 120°F (this will be medium rare).
Remove the steaks from the pans and reserve on cutting board, covered loosely with aluminum foil. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from one of the pans and add the shallot, garlic, peppercorns and butter. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and caramelize the aromatics lightly. When the shallots and garlic have some color, remove the pan from the flame and deglaze the pan with the brandy. Flame the brandy and reduce by half. While the brandy is reducing, bring the stock to a boil in the other sauté pan, scraping the bottoms and sides of the pan and remove from the heat.
When the brandy is reduced, add the stock and cream and reduce slightly until thickened, about 5 minutes and season to taste with salt.
To serve, place steak in center of the plates. Spoon the sauce over and around the steaks and serve immediately.