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.

Cote De Porc a La Charcutiere

I’ve never been a big pork chop fan. Probably because I’ve never had a good pork chop dish. This one makes me feel like I’ve been missing out. And once again, it’s all about the sauce. I know I harp on this, but having a good stock makes all the difference. If you don’t like pork chops, try this recipe. You’ll love it.

Cote De Porc a La Charcutiere

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 rib chops of pork
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Wondra flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup dark, strong chicken or veal stock
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10 cornichons, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig flat parsley, chopped

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In the oven-safe saute pan, heat the oil, then the butter. Season the chops with salt and pepper, then sear in the hot pan for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the chops. Set them aside on the platter, loosely covered with foil, while you make the sauce.

  2. Return the saute pan to the heat, and add the onion. Cook until golden brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and reduce by half, scraping, scraping, of course. Add the stock (and you really do need a good, dark, strong stock for this). Reduce the liquid by half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard. Add the cornichons, the parsley, and any juice that has run off the cooked pork chops. Adjust the seasoning. Arrange the chops on the platter and pour over the sauce. Eat.

Onglet Gascon

The two things that make this recipe is the marrow and sauce, in that order. If you’re going to skip the marrow, don’t bother making this dish. If you don’t like marrow all I can say is what’s wrong with you?

And don’t skimp on the sauce. Use homemade veal stock and demi-glace. If you try using anything else, it’s going to suck.

To get out the marrow, soak the bones in cold water for a while and then, using your thumb, push the marrow through and out the other side of the bone. Hold in ice water until ready to use.

Onglet Gascon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 6oz onglet steaks
  • salt and freshly cracked peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • marrow from 4 beef bones
  • 2 ounces white wine
  • 1/2 cup strong, dark veal stock, (nice to have a little demi-glace here, too)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • course sea salt
  • 2 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped

METHOD:

  1. COOK THE STEAK AND THE MARROW: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Put the oil in the saute pan and heat over high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon/14 g of the butter. When it has foamed and subsided, add the steaks, working in batches, as you don’t want to overcrowd (and hence cool down) the pan. Using the tongs, turn the steaks, cooking about 2 minutes on each side. Put the pan aside without washing it.

  2. Transfer the steaks to the small roasting pan and add the bone marrow. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes (maybe 8 for medium rare). Remove the meat from the pan, but leave in the marrow for seven additional minutes, until it is cooked through – meaning no pink, white, or red color remains. Place the steaks on the plate to rest.

  3. THE SAUCE: Return the saute pan to the heat and stir in the wine with the wooden spoon. You know this by now, right? Or did you just jump to this recipe? Okay. Fine. Make sure to scrape up the nice brown stuff with the spoon as you deglaze with the wine. Reduce the wine by half. stir in your stock (and now’s the time to sneak in a little of our demi-glace stash). Reduce by half. Got any juices leaking out of your resting meat? I’ll bet you do. Put that in the sauce, too. Whisk in the remaining butter (that’s called monter au beurre if you wanted to know) and remove from heat. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard and adjust the seasonings.

  4. SERVE: Arrange the meat on the platter with the marrow around it. Spoon the mustard sauce over the steaks. Sprinkle the sea salt over the marrow. Sprinkle the parsley over everything.

Demi-Glace

If you took the plunge and made veal stock, here’s a quick and dirty way to use some of that to make a demi-glace.

The recipe is pretty simple: 1 part red wine, 3 parts veal stock, and a few chopped shallots.

  1. Put the wine and shallots in a pot over high heat and reduce by half.
  2. Had the veal stock and bring to a simmer (Never boil sock).
  3. Reduce like crazy until the stock is rich and dark and coats the back of a spoon. Be patient. It’ll take a few hours.
  4. Strain the stock thru a cheesecloth lined colander as many times as you can stand. The more the better.
  5. Stick the pot in an ice bath to cool it down.
  6. Put the cool sauce in ice cubes trays and freeze. They should last for 3 or 4 months.

Now you time you need to add a little punch to a sauce or dish, just throw 1 or 2 of these in.