Steak Au Poivre

Pepper Steak

Steak au Poivre is traditionally made with filet mignon, but we prefer a boneless ribeye (pictured) or a NY Strip. Mushrooms are not traditional, but adding some to the sauce makes the dish otherworldly. Simple sides are the best to complement the sauce's richness, like steamed asparagus spears, green beans, or plain egg noodles.
2 12-ounce boneless ribeye or NY strip, 1 to 1.5 
inches thick, trim excess fat and gristle,
half crosswise
Kosher salt to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely minced shallots (can substitute onion)
1/2 cup cognac
1 cup heavy cream
2 sprigs thyme
1 Sprinkle salt on all sides of steaks. (Should be at room temperature.)

2 Crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, or use the bottom of a heavy pan.

3 Press pepper into both sides of the steaks.

4 Place an ovenproof plate in the oven and heat to 200°F.

5 Place a large skillet that holds the steaks (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Melt half the butter. Add mushrooms and toss so they are coated. Let cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes until they begin to take on color. Toss a few times until cooked (not browned), then remove to a bowl.

6 Turn off the oven.

7 In the same skillet, add oil over high heat. When it's smoking hot, add steaks. Press down hard to press the pepper into the meat and give them a good sear. Turn them after 3 to 4 minutes (depends on thickness, heat of your pan, how you like your steak). Add remaining butter and continue cooking, basting the steaks.

8 When medium-rare (125°F/52°C instant-read thermometer) move to oven plate.

9 Add shallots to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until tender, a minute or so. Add cognac and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons.

10 Add cream and thyme sprigs, then reduce the sauce by almost half. Next, add mushrooms, give them a few stirs. Remove thyme sprigs.

11 To serve, spoon sauce over steaks. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes Steaks can be saltede ahead - wrap steaks with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to ten hours. Bring to room temperature.
Adapted from Michael Ruhlman's recipe in 'From Scratch.'

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