Saturday, November 9, 2013

Steak Au Poivre

Steak Au Poivre is French for "cooking steaks inside instead of on the grill".

Okay, perhaps not but it might as well mean that at our house because if we cook steaks inside, au poivre is our favorite method.    

There are a few advantages to pan searing steaks versus grilling them.  First, pan seared steaks maximize the Malliard reaction, giving you an even, deep golden crust.  Second, you get to capture the intense flavor in the sucs (the brown sticky bits left on the pan) in a delicious pan sauce to compliment the steak.  

Steak au poivre recipes might appear to call for WAY too much pepper but don't worry, it works.  Every time that we make this, I just can't believe how wonderfully complex the flavor tastes for just beef, salt, and pepper.  Sometimes I make the traditional cream sauce but this time I used another favorite pan sauce of ours - bourbon/baby bella sauce.  

Steak Au Poivre with Bourbon Mushroom Sauce

  • 2 ribeye steaks, 1 1/2" thick
  • salt to taste
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp COLD unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • sliced green onions for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400f.  
  2. Preheat stainless pan over high heat.  
  3. Season steaks lightly with kosher salt.  Then press steak onto a plate covered with coarse ground pepper.  Flip and repeat on the other side.  You want a good crust of black pepper on your steaks.
  4. Add oil and 2 Tbsp of the butter to the pan.  Saute the steaks 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove steaks to a rack over a roasting pan and place in the oven.  Monitor internal temperature until the steak hits 127f for medium rare.  This should take just long enough to make the pan sauce (next step).  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, drain the pan except for 1 Tbsp of oil (DON'T CLEAN THE PAN OUT) and saute the mushrooms over medium high heat until done, about 8 minutes.  
  7. Deglaze the pan with the bourbon (do this away from open flame and heat).  Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer until volume is reduced by half.  Swirl in the last Tbsp of butter.
  8. Slice the steaks and serve with the bourbon and mushroom sauce spooned on top.  

You really can't do this well with skinny steaks, you need thick ones.

The pepper crust is thick, I know it seems crazy, but it works.

The crust will be deep dark brown to mahogany but not burned.

Make sure that your temp prob goes in straight.  If it is at an angle, it will give a false high reading.

You'll know the mushrooms are done once they have given off their liquid and the pan almost becomes dry.

When you add the bourbon, it will quickly evaporate the alcohol off but leave the sweet flavor of bourbon.

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