From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.
|Photo by Quinn Dombrowski|
|This steak is crusted with peppercorn, then topped with a quick pan sauce.|
This week, we're covering the modern French beef dish, steak au poivre.
Literally meaning "pepper steak," this steak is crusted with coarse, barely crushed peppercorns before being seared and smothered in a pan sauce made with wine, cognac, and/or cream. Best served medium-rare for ultimate succulence, the dish is traditionally made using tender cuts of beef like filet mignon.
The origin of the dish is unclear, with French chefs laying claim to the dish as far back as 1905. There are even theories that trace the origins back to Leopold I of Germany in 1790 (though this is often refuted, as any good theory is). But our favorite theory? Some say the dish was popularized in the 19th century, when notable figures would take their female companions to French bistros to dine on the steak because of pepper's natual aphrodisiac qualities. Ooh la la.
Whatever its beginnings, the steak has made it big in today's fine dining scene. The rich, fatty meat is contrasted by the piquant, woodsy peppercorns, which form a caramelized crust when seared in a hot pan with oil or butter. As the steak rests, a quick pan sauce is made using cognac, red wine, or bourbon and often shallots, butter, mustard, peppercorns and cream. More »