Mean Chef's Steak Au Poivre

By newspapergal on April 03, 2003

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Ingredients

    1. 4 (6 -8 ounce) New York strip steaks or 4 sirloin steaks, 3/4 inch thick, patted dry
    2. salt
    3. 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns or 1 mixture of various peppercorn
    4. olive oil, for the pan
    5. 1 cup red wine ( Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
    6. 4 -6 tablespoons butter, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Sprinkle the steaks with salt on both sides, and then press the ground peppercorns into the steaks on both sides.
  3. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film.
  4. When the oil is very hot, add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned on one side, about 3 minute.
  5. (If the pan is small, work in batches.) Flip the meat over and put the skillet in the oven.
  6. For medium-rare steaks, roast for 3 minutes for 6-ounce steaks; 4 minutes for 8-ounce steaks.
  7. Check for doneness with the tip of a knife or by pressing with your fingertips, keeping in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they sit.
  8. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent with foil.
  9. With a spoon, remove any fat from the skillet.
  10. Put the skillet back on the burner and heat to medium high.
  11. Add the wine and cook until it's reduced to 1/4 cup, about 7 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. REMOVE PAN FROM THE HEAT.
  12. Whisk in the butter a slice at a time, whisking until completely melted.
  13. Taste and adjust the seasonings, drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.
  14. Variations: add shallots to the pan sauce, finish with chopped parsley.
  15. substitute 4 tbl cognac and 1/2 cup dark stock in place of the wine.
  16. substitute 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup cognac for the wine- reduce slightly to thicken.