Steak au poivre is a classical dish that everyone should eat at least once in their life. It is amazing when done right a beautiful harmony of pepper, cream, and brandy oh yeah and of course steak. I normally don’t make this at home because I’m not a huge red meat person most of the time and I’m also a big steak on the grill guy so this really doesn’t leave me much options living in a urban apartment in a city. When this happens in my life I’m like a heroin addict scooping up every last inch of sauce from the plate with bread my tongue whatever I can get my hands on, but if you want to cook this at home follow below. This is from Les Halles in NYC probably the best done one I’ve had.
4-8 ounce steaks
2 ounces olive oil
2 ounces freshly cracked peppercorns (not powder)
4 ounces butter
1 ounce good Cognac
4 ounces strong, dark veal stock (Bourdain says here, “right now, you really could us a tiny bit of that demi-glace I told you to keep in your freezer.” True confessions, I used beef demi-glace.)
salt and pepper
Cook the steaks.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Moisten the meat very slightly with the 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 the 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. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the steaks from the pan to rest.
When I make this at home or at work I like to add a rosemary sprig to the cream which gives it a nice earthy pop.