Steak Au Poivre

Here’s a steak dish that is not all about the sauce. The sauce is important, but it’s a minor player. This steak is all about the peppercorns. If you don’t like pepper, you won’t like this. And if you don’t like pepper, you’re an idiot. Seriously though, just look at this picture to see how much pepper this steak has.

Raw Steaks

Even after cooking all you see is pepper.

Cooking

The best thing to pair with this is sautéed potatoes. No recipe is needed. Just slice some potatoes, and sauté them in fat. I used duck fat. I don’t use any other kind. Try it and you’ll understand why.

Finished Meal

Steak Au Poivre

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 8-ounce steaks
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 2 ounces peppercorns, freshly cracked (meaning crushed but not ground to powder!)
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 4 ounces strong, dark veal stock, (right now, you really could use a tiny bit of the demi-glace I told you to keep in your freezer)
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  1. COOK THE STEAKS: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Moisten the meat very slightly with oil, then dredge each of the steaks in the crushed peppercorns to thoroughly coat. Don’t be shy with the pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 2 ounces of the butter. Place the steaks in the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook to desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare, and so on. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the steaks from the pan to rest. Have I told you to always rest your meat after cooking? I’ve told you now.

  2. THE SAUCE: Return the skillet to the stovetop and carefully stir in the Cognac. As much fun as it is to create a column of flame as you add flammable material to an incredibly hot pan, it’s not really desirable or necessary – especially in a home kitchen. Unless you’re a pyromaniac, I recommend carefully adding the Cognac to the still-hot pan off the flame, stirring and scrapping with the wooden spoon to get every scrape, every peppercorn, every rumor of flavor clinging to the bottom of the pan. Now place the pan on the flame again and cook it down a bit, by about half. Stir in the veal stock (and demi-glace) and reduce over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with French fries or sauteed potatoes.

Flatiron Steak with Herb Butter

When you think of all the different ways you can prepare a steak, sometimes the simplest are the best. This simple recipe has got to be my favorite. It takes very little time and the flavors are spectacular. The one thing you really need to do though, is learn to test the doneness of your steak by touch. The times in the recipe are longer than I’ve had to cook it.

Flatiron Steak with Herb Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 10-ounce flatiron steaks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick rounds Maitre d’Hotel Butter

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the salt and pepper will also season the shallots as they cook.

  3. Place two large skillets over high heat. Add 1/8 inch of canola oil to each skillet and heat until hot. Add 2 steaks and 1 teaspoon of butter to each skillet, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for about a minute to brown the first side. Turn the steaks over, tilt the skillet, and use a spoon to baste the meat as it sautes on the second side. When the second side of the steak has browned, but the steak is still quite undercooked, drain off any excess fat. Scatter half the shallots, thyme, and remaining butter around the steaks in each skillet and stir to combine. After 2 or 3 minutes, when the steaks are cooked to rare, transfer them to a small baking sheet. Continue to cook the shallots until they have softened but have not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Spoon the shallots over the steaks and place the baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to medium-rare. Place a round of maitre d’hotel butter on top of each steak and return to the oven just until the butter begins to melt.

Maitre d’Hotel Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

METHOD:

  1. Put the butter in a small bowl and stir with a spoon or stiff spatula until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

  2. Cut a piece of plastic wrap and form the butter into a rough log about 4 inches long, about 2 inches from one end of the plastic wrap. Roll up the butter in the plastic, then twist the ends to form a compact log about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. (The butter can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.)