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Recipe for Steak au Poivre

This classic French dish is always a hit with steak lovers. Serve it as is or with one of the two quick and easy sauces — Deglazed Red Wine Sauce or Brandy Cream Sauce.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/jabiru]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/jabiru

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Spice meter: Mildly to moderately spiced

4 to 6 boneless steaks, such as shell, sirloin, or filet, about 4 to 6 to ounces each, trimmed of visible fat around the edges

1/3 cup whole black or mixed peppercorns, coarsely crushed, or 4 tablespoons cracked black or mixed peppercorns

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-1/2 teaspoons butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

  1. Rub each steak on both sides with the peppercorns.

    Press the peppercorns into the steak with the heel of your palm. Season both sides of the meat lightly with salt.

  2. Over medium-high heat, heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron.

    The skillet needs to be large enough to hold all the steaks without crowding them. Use more than one skillet if necessary. Add the butter and olive oil and tilt the pan to coat evenly.

  3. When the pan is hot, add the steaks and sear, allowing them to brown completely on one side before turning them.

    The steaks should cook about 3 to 4 minutes per side for rare, slightly longer for medium — about 5 to 6 minutes. Check for doneness by touch or by poking the meat with the tip of a paring knife. When they are cooked to your liking, serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 228 (From Fat 121); Fat 13g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 59mg; Sodium 417mg; Carbohydrate 2g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 24g.

Deglazed Red Wine Sauce

  1. Remove the steaks from the pan.

  2. Pour 1/3 cup dry red wine into the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits and let the liquid reduce by half.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl or stir until it melts.

  4. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve.

Brandy Cream Sauce

  1. Cook the steaks for slightly less time than you otherwise would, as they will continue to cook while standing. Set the cooked steaks aside.

  2. In the same skillet in which you sautéed the steaks, add 1 minced shallot and cook, stirring, for 15 to 20 seconds.

  3. Add 1/4 cup brandy to the pan and ignite it.

  4. When the flames die down, add 1/2 to 2/3 cup cream. Stirring often, cook the cream until the cream is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

  5. Add an optional 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns or 2 tablespoons canned green peppercorns, drained of their liquid.

  6. Pour the sauce over the meat or serve the sauce on the side.

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