Having tried four of the 10 steak recipes in Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes, the one I keep coming back to is Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak). OMG! I’m salivating just at the mention of it.
‘If you think, as I do, that black pepper and rare beef make beautiful music together, then you will like this steak recipe too. We learned it in Chicago from friends who had brought it back from France in this stockyard city must be especially alert to new ways of preparing beef. This one is a winner.’ VINCENT PRICE
Steak Au Poivre (Black Pepper Steak)
dry white wine
1 Wipe with a damp cloth: a 1 1/4-inch sirloin steak (3 pounds). Dry carefully.
2 Coarsely crush: 2 tablespoons peppercorns. (Use a mortar and pestle or a potato masher.)
3 Pound crushed pepper into both sides of the steak, smacking it in with flat side of a cleaver or the potato masher. Steak should be quite thickly covered. Let stand for 2 hours.
4 In a heavy skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon cooking oil. (This mixture can get hotter without burning strain it if you want the loose bits of than butter alone.)
5 Over high heat sear steak quickly on peppercorns both sides. Cook 5 minutes on each side.
6 Remove steak to a hot platter.
7 Stir into pan: 2/3 cup dry white wine and 1 tablespoon brandy (optional). Boil wine rapidly for 2 minutes, scraping up brown meat drippings at bottom of pan.
8 Remove from heat and swirl in: 2 tablespoons butter.
Strain the sauce over the steak (or don’t strain it if you want the loose bits of pepper too) and garnish with watercress.
My go-to steak recipe at the moment. It’s simply, hugely flavoursome (the aroma of the searing black pepper is quite something) and truly honours the produce – with my choice cut being fillet. You also get quite alot of sauce out of this, which you can keep refrigerated for 2 days.