Steak au Poivre for a change of pace

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Don’t get me wrong, a steak grilled over a hardwood charcoal fire is always fantastic. Sometimes though you just need to change it up. That’s when making your steak au poivre fills the bill.

Steak au Poivre (steak with pepper) is basically a steak with a black pepper gravy. It is extremely delicious and relativity easy to make. The fact that an open flame is involved is only a bonus!

I served tonight’s steak with garlic mashers made from new potatoes and steamed green beans.

Steak au Poivre

Ingredients

4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 ½ inches thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup heavy cream

Directions

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, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the steaks, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.

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.

Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. 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. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Garlic Mashers

Ingredients

4 large red potatoes
2 large white potatoes
1 Whole Bulb Garlic (Peeled)
1 Stick Real Butter
1 C Sour Cream
½ T Kosher Salt
½ t Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Directions

Boil potatoes, garlic and salt until fork easily pierces. Drain water. Add butter, sour cream and black pepper. Mash potatoes with old-fashioned ribbon potato masher making sure all ingredients get evenly combined.

Pesto di Noce with Flat Iron Steak & Green Beans Amandine.

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Tonight’s dinner was Pesto di Noce (Pesto with Walnuts) served over a grilled Flat Iron Steak along with green beans Amandine.

Pesto is typically made with Pine nuts. However for this pesto I toasted some English walnuts and added a few sun dried tomatoes. The walnuts give the pesto just a slightly different flavor and the sun dried tomatoes add just a hint of sweetness.

This recipe originally called for a flank steak, however in my area flank steaks are very hard to find. I use the new kid on the block, the flat iron steak, as a worthy substitute whenever a recipe calls for flank steak. If you would like to read more about the flat iron steak simply click here. Flat Iron Steak

I also had some left over crostini from the weekend. I am planning a whole article on the versatility of crostini in the near future so that will have to wait until then. For now, here are the recipes for the steak, pesto and green beans.

Flat Iron Steak

In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup soy sauce, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. In a glass bowl, baking dish or my preference a zip lock type baggie, pour the mixture over a flank steak. Let steak marinate for 30 minutes, turning once. I like to use a zip lock type bag because I feel it holds the marinate next to the meat much better and all you simply need to do is flip the bag every once in a while.

On a hot grill, cook steak over high heat, 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. When steak has reached desired doneness, remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes. Slice the steak against the grain in ½-inch-thick slices. Plate and top with pesto.

Pesto di Noce

Ingredients

1 ½ cups packed basil
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan (you may use all Parmesan if you wish)
2 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Process basil, oil, walnuts, Pecorino, Parmesan, tomatoes, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.

Green Beans Amandine

1 lb. Fresh or frozen whole green beans
¼ Sliced almonds
¼ C Real Butter
½ t Kosher Salt
1/8 t Fresh ground pepper

Steam beans until tender-crisp. About 10 to 15 minutes. Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add salt, pepper and almonds. Right before serving, heat butter, almonds, salt and pepper over medium heat. Stir until almonds just begin to brown. Add beans and fry while continuously stirring for three to four minutes. Serve immediately.

What can I say… you can never get enough pesto. As Susan said while eating tonight, “On the seventh day God created Pesto.”