- October 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm #347263mosParticipant
Looking for something special for ‘just’ the two of you? Here it is…
Steak au Poivre for Two
2 6-oz top sirloin steaks
3 tbs whole black or mixed peppercorns
Vegetable oil for sautéing
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup Cognac or brandy
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup double-strength beef stock
1/3 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 tbs butter
Sprinkle the steaks generously on both sides with kosher salt. Cover and let sit while you crush the peppercorns.
Using a peppermill with a very coarse setting, grind the peppercorns onto a flat plate or small sheet pan. If you don’t have such a peppermill, use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns. Or place the peppercorns between two sheets of heavy plastic or in a heavy-duty food storage bag. Using the bottom of a heavy pan, a rolling pin, or even a filled wine bottle, crush the pepper. Pour out onto a flat plate or small sheet pan.
Flatten the steaks with your hand to about 3/4-inch thick (this will make them cook more evenly). Optional step: using a tenderizing mallet, give the steaks a once-over to further tenderize the steak.
Dredge the steaks on both sides in the peppercorns, pressing to make the pepper adhere to the steaks.
Film the bottom of a sauté pan with oil and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, lay the steaks in the pan. Cook for four minutes on each side for medium-rare. Set the steaks on a warm plate and cover loosely.
Add the shallots to the pan and toss them around with a spatula or wooden spoon until the pieces separate, become a little tender and start to brown.
Off the heat, add the cognac to the pan. Carefully set the cognac on fire, and return to the heat. Add the herbs and swirl to coat with the liquor. By then, the cognac should have reduced by half.
Add the beef stock and simmer until reduced again by half.
If you want a richer sauce, add the optional cream and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you drag your finger through the sauce on the spoon, it should hold a clear stripe.
Remove from the heat. When the sauce stops bubbling, wait one minute, then swirl in the butter.
Slice the steaks into 1/3-inch slices. Pour some sauce on a plate and lay the steak in it. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
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