Saturday, November 5, 2005

Steak au Poivre Dinner

Well, Sharron’s really off to Chile tomorrow. She stayed over on Thursday to do the last of her packing and storing. So we enjoyed Steak au Poivre for dinner (just the three of us) and toasted to her trip over a bottle of Perez Cruz, a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (I thought it only fitting) and followed the meal by cuddling on the couch watching some CSI shows.

Yesterday she packed – it’s all done and I’m so impressed by how little she’s taking. (I probably pack more when I’m going on a two week vacation). Then we went off for a mother-daughter lunch and a trip to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Lunch was at Pho Hung, one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants just across the street from the museum. We weren’t really hungry so we just shared an order of fried spring rolls and a bowl of soup (broth, noodles and rare roast beef) which I think is the best in the city. The broth is so sweet and flavorful, you want to drink even the last dregs in the bowl.

The museum is under major construction so the exhibits are not as plentiful as they used to be (or will be, I’m sure). We got to see some incredible Burgess Shale fossils from British Columbia that are apparently over 545 million years old – that is not a typo. We spent a lot of time in front of the three cases of fossils because my older daughter, Joanna (still in Halifax, but with us in spirit) really wants to see them, but that’s another story. Even though at least half of the exhibits are in storage or on loan to other museums, we still managed to spend two hours there. All in all, it was a lovely day.

But really, this is a food blog, so without further ado, here’s the recipe for Steak au Poivre. I made mashed potatoes, carrots and parsnip with lots of cream and butter to cut the heat of the pepper sauce. Although, it’s not in this picture, we also had thinly sliced Brussels sprouts roasted with a drizzle of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.

Steak au Poivre
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 2

2 sirloin or rib eye steaks
1-2 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns (I love to use my mortar & pestle for this – it’s so primal and a great stress reliever too)
1-2 tbsp butter for frying
¼ cup cognac
½ cup light cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard

1. Press crushed peppercorns into both sides of the steak.

2. Fry steaks on both sides in a regular sauté pan on high heat to sear in the juices and crisp up the outside (5 minutes or so per side for medium). It is best not to use a non-stick pan as the bits that cling to the bottom of the pan contribute to the sauce.

3. Heat cognac over low heat in a small pot or pan until warm. Ignite and pour over steaks. When flame goes out, remove the steaks from pan to warm platter. (This had Sharron and my honey in awe – or fear, I’m not sure which).

4. Add cream and mustard to the remaining liquid in the pan and heat until blended, scraping the bottom to incorporate any meat and pepper that clung to the pan into the sauce.

5. Pour over steaks and serve.

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Kalyn Denny said...

I want to make this right now! (Well, maybe not now since it's 8:25 A.M here, but soon!) Yum.

Ruth Daniels said...

So imagine writing about it at 7:30am. I write in my office which is upstairs and brought the bottle of wine up for proper spelling - I swear!! When my honey woke up, his first comment was "starting a little early are we?"

Anyway, this is really a simple and simply delicious dish and certain to impress all your friends - especially if you turn off the lights to flame the cognac.