Steak Au Poivre
- 3 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 4 6-oz. beef filets, about 1 1⁄2" thick
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄3 cup cognac
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Wrap peppercorns in a clean dish towel, then crush, either by pressing firmly with the bottom of a heavy skillet or by tapping gently with a mallet (Peppercorns should be cracked, not ground.) Transfer pepper to a plate, then roll filets in it so that they are evenly coated. Season liberally on both sides with salt.
- Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add filets and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer steaks to four warmed plates. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you prepare sauce.
- Add cognac to hot pan, then carefully ignite with a long-handled match. (Keep lid handy so flame can be extinguished if necessary.) Allow alcohol to burn off, about 1 minute, then add stock. Cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3–5 minutes. Season with salt and pour over steaks.