It’s been a while since I participated in the Secret Recipe Club, since I opted out for the busy month of December and the club was closed for renovations during January, so I was so eager to finally participate again! I absolutely love the anticipation of waiting to find out who my blog assignment is, then stealthily stalking their blog and picking the perfect recipe to make and share for reveal day. That’s my favorite part, but it’s also a lot of fun to hunt down who was assigned to me after the big reveal and see what recipe they chose. Fun, fun, fun! :)
This month I was assigned to Cupcake Muffin, which is the most expansive blog I’ve been assigned to so far. There are so many delicious recipes in every category that it took quite a while to mark all the ones I liked and finally decide on “the one.”
I’m sure you are shocked that I didn’t pick a sweet treat, right? So am I! :) I figured since it’s getting close to Valentine’s Day, and I already have plenty of chocolatey recipes for you to choose from for dessert, I’d offer this fancy steak up as a consideration for your main course if you plan to have a romantic meal at home. Also, I have ZERO steak recipes on my blog so I guess it’s about time I bit the bullet and added one. Plus, the husband loves steak and usually if he wants it, I force him to make it himself (I’m sort of anti-steak), but I knew he would appreciate one that wasn’t rubbery and overcooked (his specialty) so I decided to be nice to every one and give you what you want. Aren’t I such a trooper? ;)
The steak is rich and so flavorful–peppery, but not overly so, despite the stunning amount of it in the recipe, and the cream sauce just brings it together so very nicely. Despite my personal distaste for steak, I thought this was delicious and the best steak I’ve ever had in my life.
I usually covertly watch my husband while he eats, trying to see his reaction and judge whether I made a winner or a loser in his estimation. Well, he had no reaction to this steak, except to shovel it into his mouth steadily without pausing to look up. He knows how important it is to me to know if he likes what I’ve made, so I was a little uncertain, despite the proof of his enjoyment staring me in the face, until he was almost finished and finally remembered to look up and give his verdict. He said it was the best steak he’s ever had!! Coming from such a carnivore as he, this is a great compliment and a testament to the wonderful recipe. Thank you, Sara, for sharing it–my husband is eternally grateful! This will be my go-to recipe for when I need to butter him up. :)
*Side note: Steak “au poivre” is French and translates to pepper steak. It is pronounced steak “oh pwav” or steak “oh pwavrah,” depending on which French chef you listen to. (You can hear it pronounced from a French chef the first way on this video if you skip to :16, and the second way on this video if you skip to :42.) I looked this up just so I wouldn’t sound a fool when I told Dennis what I was serving, and I thought I’d share for those who know as little French as I do. I prefer to say steak oh pwav because it’s easier. :)
Steak au Poivre
2 boneless beef strip steaks (about 1 pound total)
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black peppercorns
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup brandy (or cognac if you’re feeling extra-fancy)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Remove the steaks from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. (A cold steak will contract when it hits the heat, causing the meat to become tough during cooking.) Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides lightly with salt. Coat both sides with the peppercorns, pressing so they adhere. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the steaks and cook to your desired doneness (2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare), turning the heat down to medium after both sides are seared if you wish to cook it beyond medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a plate and tent them with foil. Pour off and discard any fat left in the pan, but not the brown bits.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add the shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the brandy*. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook, whisking, until the brandy reduces to a glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream and simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt. Transfer the steaks to dinner plates and top with the sauce.
*Note: Sara cautions to be careful when adding the alcohol if you have a gas stove because the alcohol will most likely ignite, as it did on hers (mine is electric and did not). Be sure to stand back and keep your hair out of the way just in case!
Recipe source: Cupcake Muffin