My son loves steak…we remind him he will be in trouble when he grows up and goes off to college….he won’t be able to enjoy his steak and meats swimming in a small pool of brandy cream sauce.
I know in these days of cutting back on red meat and not eating anything with butter in it, it is not chic to encourage eating red meat. In fact, I AM trying to cut back on consuming those things in quantity, but it remains my guilty pleasure. All things in moderation?
Plus, steak hasn’t been cheap lately. Even on a limited budget we try to choose a nicer cut..a strip steak with a little marbling in it remains affordable once every couple of weeks. It is the simplest and most enjoyable meal ever. I open a bottle of red wine, bake up some potatoes encrusted in sea salt and serve it with thin green beans and a fresh green salad.
I served it for a dinner party last year and my friends still mention the steak…or was it the baked Alaska whose flames overflowed onto the table cloth. (My husband says dinner isn’t ready until the smoke alarm goes off…in this case, it was dessert)
So here’s my son’s beloved recipe for Steak au Poivre:
Strip steaks 4-6 (some marbling), dried with a paper towel at room temperature.
Press crushed peppercorns & sea salt into steaks and coat with a little olive oil and garlic. You may also sprinkle with your favorite steak seasoning…I use Montreal Steak from McCormicks.
Turn on oven and heat to 350°. Warm dry cast iron skillet to very very hot…you can’t hold your hand over it for more than a few seconds. Coat with olive oil then lay steaks into pan with at least 1″ space between steaks. Sear for 1 or 2 minutes per side until browned crust forms. Remove steaks from pan and place on wire rack set over baking sheet. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Deglaze pan with about 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock, scraping up all the bits that remain. Warm liquid then pour liquid through strainer into a gravy separator.
After steaks have rested for 5-10 minutes (this allows juices to redistribute), place steaks in oven with remote temperature probe inserted into the thickest part of the largest steak.
While steaks are in oven, begin to make the sauce. Melt 1-2 tbsp butter in now empty cast iron skillet over medium flame. Saute minced scallion until soft…being careful not to burn. Pour in pan drippings from gravy separator (don’t pour in fat). Taste and balance the veloute with a little sugar (1 tsp or less) if too bitter or salty. You can add more stock if needed. Thicken sauce with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream. Warm until a spoon dragged through the sauce leaves a trail in the pan. Add a few table spoons of brandy and add squeeze of lemon juice to brighten . Taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary. Leave sauce a little thin b/c you should leave sauce in pan until steaks are served.
Remove steaks from oven when probe reaches 145-150 for med rare. Place on warmed plate. I will wait to serve sauce until steaks have rested for 5 minutes (will eat our salad while steaks rest and then I pour the sauce out of the warm pan). You may pour sauce directly over steaks or serve sauce on the side in a small prewarmed cream pitcher. Each steak will have about 1-2 oz of sauce.
Enjoy with a full-bodied red wine!