Prep 35 mins
Cook 20 mins
Peppercorn Steak or Steak au Poivre as the French call it. With adaptations from Simply Recipes posted by Elise Bauer.
- 4 (8 ounce) steaks, good quality like top sirloin, ribeye, filet mignon, porterhouse, T-bone or 4 (8 ounce) New York strip steaks
- kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, canola oil or 2 tablespoons other high smoke-point oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black peppercorns (more or less to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped shallots or 1⁄4 cup onion
- 1⁄4 cup cognac or 1⁄4 cup other brandy
- 1 cup beef broth or 1 cup stock
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
- Sprinkle salt generously over both sides of the steaks and let them come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. (Use a pan that can handle high heat. Cast iron works well for this or anodized aluminum.) When the oil begins to smoke, take the pan off the heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels (steaks brown better if they are patted dry first). Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and place in the hot pan.
- Return the pan to the heat and turn the heat down to medium-high. Sear, without moving the steaks, for at least 4 minutes. Try to pick up a steak with tongs and if it comes clean, flip it and turn the heat down to medium. If it sticks to the pan, let it cook for another minute or two on that side.
- Set steaks aside and tint with foil.
- Cooking Note: Sear on one side on high heat and cook on lower heat on the other side. This way you get great flavor from the seared side and better control over how done you want your steak by cooking the other side more slowly.
- To Make the Sauce: Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes. Add the brandy and as it boils, deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (helps to have one with a straight edge) to dislodge all the browned bits. Once the brandy is almost cooked away, add the beef stock and turn the heat to high. Boil the sauce down until there's a noticeable trail when you drag a wooden spoon through the center of it (4-5 minutes).
- Pour in the heavy cream and resume boiling. Again, boil down until you can make that telltale trail from the wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and adjust with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Pour the sauce over the steaks.