There’s a restaurant in Austin called Chez Nous. In case you never took a foreign language in high school, it’s French. Lynn and I ate there a little while ago and I had the steak au poivre. It reminded me that a year or two ago Fine Cooking had a whole article on making this classic French dish so I went hunting and found it on my bookcase. There’s not a whole lot I love more than pepper, so I tend to get a good thick crust going on these puppies, and that mixed with the tarragon, cognac cream is a great balance of rich and savory. Also, you get to light stuff on fire and that’s always fun.
Steak au Poivre
4 steaks of your choosing, I vote Ribeye because I like the marbling in them
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbs butter
1/4 finely diced shallot
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp cognac or brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1. Heat the oven to 425
2. Season the steaks with salt and thyme and then cover them with as much fresh cracked pepper as you like (mines almost completely covered, it is “Steak with Pepper” after all).
3. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat and put a little canola oil in it.
4. Sear the steaks 2-3 minutes a side and put the pan in the oven (steaks still in it).
5. Cook the steaks until they’re done to you’re liking (5 or so minutes for medium rare).
6. Put the steaks on a plate and tent with foil to rest.
7. In the same cast iron skillet add the butter and saute the shallots until soft over medium heat.
8. Add the cognac or brandy and light it on fire if you want to put on a show, reduce to a glazy consistency
9. Add the cream, tarragon, and the thyme, reduce heat to low and simmer while stirring constantly until thick
10. Finish the sauce with the remaining tsp cognac, any accumulated steak juices, and salt to taste.
11. Serve the steaks with sauce spooned over them.