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Author Notes: We just got back from Thanksgiving weekend with family. We usually pick up a Neapolitan style pizza and salad for an easy dinner after trips home to the Midwest, but this particular weekend involved installing an engineered wood floor at my daughter's house (while simultaneously entertaining two toddlers). We deserved a simple meal that was miles ahead of pizza. The inspiration was a bottle of Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon from an enterprising Loudoun County, Virginia, winery - Stone Tower. They suggested that Steak au Poivre would complement the "elegant floral aroma...notes of lingonberry and ripe fig...and French oak, hints of cocoa, and roasted hazelnuts...." This meal of steak and potatoes was the perfect match for the delicious Cab Sav and a blissful end to an exceptionally hard-working weekend. Steak technique adapted from The New Best Recipe. —chezjewels
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup Cognac (but I used cream sherry, lacking any Cognac)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- Salt to taste
Steak & Potatoes
- 2 russet potatoes
- 2 boneless ribeye steaks
- crushed black & green peppercorns
- olive oil
- START THE POTATOES & STEAKS: Preheat the oven to 425. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with salt; rub one side of each with a generous coating of crushed peppercorns and press the peppercorns into the steaks to make them adhere. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork to allow the steam to escape as they bake. Slick the potatoes with the olive oil, then salt very well, preferably with a large, flaky sea salt. Put the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, until done and the potatoes offer no resistance when pricked by a fork.
- FOR THE SAUCE: Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened abou 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire, increase the heat to high, and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Pour the reduced broth mixture into a heatproof bowl and wipe out the skillet.
- FOR THE STEAKS: Place the wiped skillet over medium heat. Lay the steaks unpeppered-side down in the hot skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, firmly press down on the steaks with the bottom of another pan, and cook without moving the steaks until they no longer stick to the pan. Flip the steaks, and cook about three minutes longer on the peppered side (for rare). Transfer the cooked steaks to a plate.
- TO FINISH THE SAUCE: Pour the reduced broth, sour cream, and Cognac/cream sherry into the now-empty skillet; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Simmer until deep golden brown and thick enough to heavily cot the back of a table spoon, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, a chunk at a time, a splash more Cognac, and any accumulated meat juices. Salt to taste.
- Place the steaks and potatoes, spooning a bit of sauce over the steak. You'll probably have extra - but maybe not. You can detox tomorrow.