Steak au Poivre/Pepper Steak -Thịt Bò Chiên Tiêu

Vietnamese food

Steak au Poivre is  a French dish which consists of a steak coated with cracked  peppercorn, pan-seared and served with a pan sauce. Serve it with a favorite potato and a fresh mixed green salad or roasted/steamed/sauteed green. This recipe bases on Fine Cooking.  It has tarragon and thyme which is my favorite herbs too but I did not see them in other recipes so if you do not have them in hand, omit it.  If you buy them, freeze left over in its own container.  Some use beef, chicken stock and veal or beef demi-glace and no cream.  Check out Wolfgang Puck’s.

Make 4 servings.

4 New York strip or Rib eye steak, or filet Mignon about 6-8  oz each (3/4 to 1.5 inch thick)
1 Tbs whole peppercorns (black or white)
1 tsp Kosher salt or any flake sea salt or 1/2 tsp table salt.
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp cognac or brandy, or dry cherry
1/4 cup chopped shallot (about 1 large or 2 medium)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs chopped  each tarragon and thyme (optional)

  1. Remove the steaks from the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Crack all the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or put them in a thick plastic bag on a cutting board and use the bottom of a cast iron, or a mallet, or a meat pounder.  Do not use ground black pepper because it would be burned and become bitter. 
  3. Wipe the steak dry with paper towel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt evenly on both sides of the steak. Then press cracked peppercorn on both sides of steaks.
  4. Heating oil in a 12 inch heavy bottom skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering (it looks thinner and changes the color when the pan is swirling), gently place the steaks into the pan.  Cook until the bottom nicely brown about 2-3 minutes. Turn the steaks and cook until brown 2-3 minutes more.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook until done as your liking.  The instant-read thermometer inserted in the center read 125 oF for rare about 8 minutes total.  130 oF/medium rare, 135 medium.   Transfer the steaks to a plate and cover loosely with foil or a lid. Set aside.  
  5. Pour off excess fat from the pan but the browned bits. Melt butter in the pan over medium heat.  Add shallot, stirring and scraping the browned bits from bottom of the pan until soft and translucent about 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat to avoid any flare up, add 1/3 cup of cognac or other spirit if used.  Return pan to the heat and cook until the cognac reduces to a glaze consistency about 1-2 minutes.  Add cream, thyme, tarragon, and any accumulated juice from resting steaks.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Cook, stir frequently until the sauce coats the back of a spoon .  Stir in the remaining 1 tsp of cognac and season to taste with salt. Strain the sauce over a fine mesh sieve over a bowl if you want a smooth sauce.
  6. Spoon the sauce over steak and serve immediately.

Double fried potatoes

1 lb russet potato, 
Vegetable oil for deep fried
Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Peel, slice potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices and soak them in water at least 30 minutes.  
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom stock pot to 325 oF.  
  3. Remove potatoes from water, pat dry.  Add  potatoes into hot oil in batches.  It should have about 1 inch of oil  above potatoes.  Fry until light brown and soft.  Remove and drain on wire rack.  Set aside. 
  4. Reheat oil to 360 oF, add potatoes and fry until golden brown.  Remove from oil, shake off excess oil. Season with salt and pepper.

* The blanching technique of Heston Blumenthal sounds great but I haven’t tried it yet.

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