More often than not, we go out to dinner on Saturday night, but last week Steve had been out of town for most of the week and so he really just wanted to stay home. That was just fine because we could make a special dinner to have at home.
So the big question was....what should we make? I was going to be heading to the grocery store and I already had beef tenderloin on my list because it was on sale, so that seemed like a good starting point for dinner. I also had a LOT of potatoes (I kind of over-bought for Thanksgiving) and if we added some bread and salad that would make a complete dinner.
But we needed a theme, because that menu sounds kind of boring. So let's put a French twist on it! I decided on steak au poivre, Truffled Oven Frites (our latest potato obsession and if you call them frites instead of fries it makes them French!), mixed greens (which was funny because it was a mix from Traders Joe's called Champs Elysee) and grilled French bread. Now that sounds like a fun meal!
Steak au poivre is really an easy dish to make. You saute your steaks and then make a quick pan sauce. So simple, so easy and fun because you add brandy and get to flame it!
Steak au Poirve
Adapted from Quick Cuisine by Ann Clark
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks (you could also use sirloin or New York strip)
- 1 1/2 tbsp brandy
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 1/3 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh tarragon
- 1/4 tsp salt
Let your steaks sit out for 15-20 minutes to bring them to room temperature. Put peppercorns in a ziploc bag and hit with a mallet or rolling pin until they are coarsely crushed. Press some of the pepper onto each of the steaks, both sides (unless you want it to be really spicy, don't go too crazy with the pepper).
Get the rest of your ingredients chopped and measured out. This cooks really fast, so it's good to have all of your ingredients ready to go.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is really hot (you want to get a good sear on the meat), add steak. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes for medium rare.
Add the brandy to the pan and flame (it's best to do this with the burner off).
Once the flame has died down, remove steaks from pan, place on a warm plate and cover with foil. Add shallots to pan and cook over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Add the wine, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Add the cream and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
Stir in mustard, tarragon and salt.
Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.