By Alisa Star
Classic steak au Poivre is a simple dish of seared peppercorn-crusted steaks with a creamy butter pan sauce. The secret is to start by encrusting the steak on only one side. Pre-salting the steaks will allow the surface of the meat to dry out allowing the peppercorns to stick.
Pairing this easy elegant meal with a rich full bodied red is a given. Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet 2015. It has an exciting nose of maraschino cherries, blackberry bramble and brisket with notes of clove and star anise. This wine has a fruity mid-palate of current with toasted vanilla and roasted brown sugar from American oak barrels. (Bonanza Cabernet is a great substitute. It mirrors Caymus).
- 4 (6-8 oz) boneless steak medallions, such as filet mignon
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Salt steaks first, let dry for 15 minutes. Meanwhile crack peppercorns into rough halves with a pepper grinder, or a mortar and pestle. Spread peppercorns evenly over only one side top of each steak.press firmly so the peppercorn imbeds the medallion.In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add steaks, peppercorn side down, and cook until peppercorns are well toasted, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn steaks, trying not to break the crust. Add butter thyme and garlic and cook, coating the steaks with a spoon as they cook in the sauce, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, and check the internal temperature of the steaks. Medium rare will be 125F; if you want your steak medium you can continue to cook to 145F. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet, discard the thyme and garlic, add shallots and more crushed peppercorn, continue cooking over medium heat, until shallots are tender. Add brandy, cook until the smell of the alcohol goes away, add chicken stock and simmer, about 2 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream until sauce has reduced enough to glaze a spoon. Add mustard, and season with salt. Pour sauce over the tops of the steaks. Coat asparagus with olive oil, lemon, salt and crushed garlic. Saute in pan for 8 minutes.