Whenever Eric & I crave a hearty and delicous steak, we "used" to dine at Ruth Chris Steak house, Morton's, Wood Ranch, Prime Cut Cafe is my newest favorite steak place. However, my husband, aka pyro-afficiando, loves this recipe from Alton Brown because it inspired him to cook like our steak house restaurants. Getting restaurant quality at home is our number one mantra right now. It's alot easier to make this meal at our current house than our small Yorba Linda apartment...I think we burned the exhaust fan...it never ran the same after that incident! I love this meal for many reasons: 1)the pyro-show - seeing Cognac flames is quite entertaining and fearing for my life is next; 2) it's the best steak recipe ever; 3) it's an elegant meal for anyone. Try it, fire it up, and eat it up...because it's that good. Trust me.
Steak Au Poivre
Adapted from Alton Brown
4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup heavy cream
1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with kosher salt.
2. Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a coffee grinder - it's much easier on the hands than using a mortar and pestle. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.
3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
4. Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a fire starter. Gently shake pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.
Review: Best steaks ever...it's the kind of dish that I would lick the plate clean. All the steakhouses can't come close to this meal. I did scream my head off due to the proximity of the fire in my face, but luckily I was holding the fire extinguisher, too!