Steak au Poivre, or Steak with Peppercorns, is a French-inspired dish that combines tender fillet steaks with a rich peppercorn-brandy sauce, perfect served with roasted green beans and potatoes. Like many French dishes, Steak au Poivre is absolutely delicious. While Steak au Poivre is now an internationally loved dish, its origins indeed began in France, although exactly where and when is a matter of controversy. Chefs from all over France claim to have first created the tasty French steak. One report says that a chef named E. Lerch claimed the creation in 1930, but other reports suggest that Steak au Poivre was an established dish at the Hotel de Paris at Monte Carlo as early as 1910. No matter where or when Steak au Poivre was created, one thing is for sure: it is de-lish-OUS!
4 fillet steaks, approximately 8 ounces each
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup cognac
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Allow the steaks to rest outside of the refrigerator until room temperature (approximately 30-45 minutes). Season with salt on both sides.
Using a mortar and pestle or any heavy kitchen tool, crush the peppercorns until they are cracked to your liking. The more you crush them, the more flavor they will add to the sauce. Gently press the cracked peppercorns into both sides of the steak. Set aside.
To a large skillet, add the olive oil and butter and melt over medium heat. As soon as the mixture begins to smoke, add the steaks to the pan. Cook the steaks over medium heat for approximately four minutes per side for medium rare.
Remove the steaks from the heat. Add to a plate and cover with tin foil.
Deglaze the pan with cognac. Use a match to light the cognac on fire and gently shake the pan until the flames dissipate. Once the flames go out, add the heavy cream to the pan. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce thickens (approximately 5 minutes).
Season to taste with salt and parsley.
Add the steaks back to the pan and coat well in the sauce. Serve immediately.
*Feature photo courtesy of http://www.recipeshubs.com