We’ve been pinching pennies recently, but a homework assignment for school allowed us to spoil ourselves this weekend. I had to prepare a classical French entree and my husband’s prayers were answered when I chose to make steak au poivre. It’s one of his favorites and it quickly became one of mine.
Perhaps its because steak isn’t part of our daily fare, but the 12 ounce New York strip was something special. The cracked pepper coating that I pressed into both sides made a dark, black crust. In the pan it caramelized and gave the steak a nice crunch that provided the perfect contrast to the soft, red center that literally melted in your mouth. The fat in the meat and the sauce coated my tongue luxuriously creating a silky mouthfeel. While twelve ounces of steak had seemed like more than enough, we found ourselves dreading the point at which we would have to take our last bite. In typical fashion, I quickly finished mine off and sat hungrily staring at my husband’s while he exhibited great self control.
While peas aren’t the typical steakhouse side they added a taste of spring to the plate. Anna potatoes rounded out the meal. Anna potatoes are similar to scalloped potatoes, but have a wonderfully crisp crust on the bottom that comes from cooking them in the oven in a skillet. They are made by layering thinly sliced pieces of Russet potatoes on top of each other in a skillet and brushing each layer with melted butter. You then bake the potatoes in the oven for one hour. They were the perfect steakhouse side. A bottle of 2006 Klinker Brick Zinfandel added to our indulgence. With full bellies, we deemed ourselves to be living large.
Steak Au Poivre
Cracked Black Pepper and Salt
New York Strip
Take your steak out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking to allow it to warm up. Rub about 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper on each side of the steak and season with salt. Heat saute pan and add olive oil to the pan over high heat. Once hot, add steak to pan allowing each side to caramelize. Cook to desired degree of doneness. Add brandy and flambe. Make sure to take the pan off the heat before adding brandy. There will be a large flame so be careful.
Poivre Sauce (makes 1 cup)
Cracked black pepper – 1 Tablespoon
Green peppercorns – 1 Teaspoon
Brandy – 1 Tablespoon
Demi-glace – 1/2 cup
Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup
Heat saute pan and add cracked black pepper and green peppercorns. Add brandy and flambe. Add demi-glace and heavy cream and allow to simmer until the desired consistency is reached. Finish the sauce with butter before serving.