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Classic Steaks au Poivre

Classic Steaks au Poivre
Making a pan sauce is a simple process that produces immense flavor in just minutes. In this recipe, the steaks are removed from the pan and then the pan is deglazed using brandy. The cook stirs with a wooden spoon to scrape up the tasty browned bits from the pan bottom; demi-glace and beef stock also add depth of flavor. Before long, the liquid reduces to a delicious sauce. At the last minute, butter is whisked in to thicken and enrich the sauce.

Steaks au poivre are traditionally served with French Fries (see related recipe at right).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 New York steaks, each 10 to 12 oz.
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 Tbs. veal or beef demi-glace
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
      cut into 4 pieces

Directions:

Spread the pepper out on a baking sheet. Season the steaks on both sides with salt, then press the steaks into the pepper, coating both sides.

In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Arrange the steaks in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the steaks to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Pour off the excess fat from the pan and set the pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brandy and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the demi-glace and stock and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter 1 piece at a time, whisking constantly.

Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.