Steak au Poivre with Cognac Sauce


Cognac Flames

When you want something fancy, delicious and impressive.  Try this for company.  It’s fun to light food on fire, for real!


Steak au Poivre with Cognac Sauce

 4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons whole peppercorns

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon

1 cup heavy cream

 Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt. Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle,  a spice grinder or the bottom of a cast iron skillet or mallet. Press crushed peppercorns onto all sides of steaks.

 In a medium skillet over medium high 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 approximately 4 minutes on each side. (130º-135º) 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.

 Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match. It may not flame much, but it might be quite a show!  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.