Thursday, June 11, 2015

On The Menu: Steak Au Poivre

Peppery. That's really the dominant word that comes to mind when describing this dish. Pepper-tastic or pepper-riffic would also work quite nicely in conveying the peppery peppery-ness of this dish. Now, I love black pepper and it's nice to see it take center stage in a recipe. I've always thought it had untapped possibilities. Sure, when you season, it's always included. It's always salt and pepper. Yet, somehow, I feel that pepper always takes a backseat to salt. Pepper is usually salt's wingman. Well, not in this dish. Nope. This pepper is in your face. Aggressive pepper. Pepper that you would not want to meet in a dark alley. Needless to say, there was a lot of sneezing. A lot.
Steak Au Poivre is a simple preparation of coating steaks with freshly ground pepper and then frying them in butter. Then, after the steaks are cooked, brandy, white wine and more butter are added to de-glaze the pan and make the sauce.
Since there are only five components to this dish, I realize now how important it is to get the best ingredients possible. If one of them is not up to par, it's really noticeable. For me, that ingredient was the steak. I mean, it wasn't bad or past its prime or anything like that. It was just the wrong cut of meat for this dish. It was thinner and fattier than it should have been and it showed in the final product. Although the brandy/wine/butter pan sauce was wonderfully rich, I was frustrated that I had to cut off a good bit of the pepper crust to remove the excess fat from the meat, thereby losing a good bit of flavor. But, it was the steak I had on hand, so as the French would say, c'est la vie. I'll know better next time. 


  1. That's what this adventure is all about - learning as you go.

    Pepper is not my friend :( but I like the idea of double butter ;) lol