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The outside has a nice, well formed crust; the center is perfectly pink; the sauce is full of depth and flavour and perfectly balances out with the steak. Adapted from http://www.courvoisiercollective.com.
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks, 1 1/2-inch thick (can sub striploin steaks)
- 3 -4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 -4 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, crushed
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tbsp cognac (the 1/3 cup may be increased up to 1/2 cup if desired)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Pat dry steaks and salt generously on both sides; allow to stand on paper towels for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
- In the meantime make a paste of the garlich by sprinkling a generous amount of course salt on top of the smashed garlic and using the palm of your hand on the flat side of a knife, slide the knife over the garlic repeatedly until a paste forms.
- Pat the rested steaks dry and firmly press the top and bottom of each steak into the peppercorns.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil; melt butter, stirring to combine.
- Gently place the steaks into the hot pan and sear over high heat for two minutes on each side. Don't move the steaks around. Allow to form a crust.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining 3 tbsp of butter, garlic paste, thyme and rosemary. Continue cooking the steaks, turning occasionally and basting with the pan liquid, until your desired doneness is reached (about 8 minutes for medium).
- Remove the steaks from pan and tent with foil to rest.
- Discard the liquid from the pan, but do not scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and add 1/3 cup cognac. Light the cognac with a match to burn off the alcohol. Whisk in the heavy cream, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour in the juices that have accumulated on the plate from the steaks, along with 1 Tbsp of cognac. Quickly stir until thickened again, about 30 seconds.
- Plate the steaks, topping them with a generous amount of sauce.