I have admitted in the past to be a raging Francophile, so it shouldn't surprise you that this is one of my favorite ways to eat steak. The super easy pan sauce really makes the dish, and if you use a good cut of meat you will be left with a show stopper. Serve this with some roasted potatoes and a great salad, and you'll leave them begging for more. Oo-la-la!
Steak au Poivre
2 6-oz. beef tenderloins*, at least 1 inch thick
coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp butter, divided
.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
.25 cup beef stock
3 Tbsp cognac or brandy
*Other good cuts are New York Strips, Ribeyes, and Hanger steaks.
Place filet on a board and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides with coarse salt and cracked pepper, pressing the grains in evenly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and all of the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium high heat until the butter is almost smoking. Place the steaks in the pan and lower heat to medium (turn your range fan on, it will get smoky!).Saute the steaks for 3 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other for medium rare meat (longer if the steaks are thicker than 1 inch). Remove the steaks to a platter and cover well with foil--they continue to cook while resting, so be careful to not over cook.
Pour off fat if there appears to be more than a Tbsp or two remaining in the pan. To the one Tbsp of hot pan fat, add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the cognac or brandy and cook over high for 1-2 more minutes. Off the heat, swirl in the remaining Tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt. Serve the steaks hot with the pan sauce spooned over the top. We ended up eating this fine meal on the couch so that I could get my "American Idol" fix, and Buster watched us from the position all night. How can you not want to make something that so enraptured this little dog? Worth every penny!