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Posts Tagged ‘French’

Steak au Poivre

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

My parents called while I was making dinner a few days ago.  When I told my dad what I was making, he told me to hold dinner; he could be here in about 3 hours if he left for the airport right away.

I don’t make steak very often, so the following recipe was a real treat.

Steak Au Poivre (adapted from the Way the Cookie Crumbles)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 medium shallot, minced

1 cup beef broth

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup brandy + 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon lemno juice

4 strip steaks, 10 oz each


1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed

Heat 1 tablespoon of utter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook until the shallot is softened.  This should take about two minutes.  Add the broths and increase the heat to high.  Reduce the mixture to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.  Set the reduced mixture aside.

Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt.  Rub one side of each steak with the peppercorns.  Press the peppercorns into the steaks.

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Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes.  Lay the steak, un-peppered side down, in the skillet.  Increase the heat to medium-high and press down on the steaks with the bottom of a cake pan.  Cook the steaks without moving until browned, about 6 minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook the peppered side, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rate.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil to warm.

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In the pan used to cook the steaks, add the reduced broth, cream, 1/4 cup of brandy and cream.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to loosen the browned bits.  Simmer until deep brown and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, brandy, lemon juice, and any meat juices.

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Set a steak on each plate and spoon a portion of the sauce over each steak.  I served this with brussels sprouts and twice baked potatoes.

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Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

As soon as it gets cold, the first dish I want to make is Beef Burgundy.  I first made this dish for New Year’s Eve and have even enjoyed “the real thing” while visiting Burgundy with my dad in the middle of summer.  To me, though, this dish is supremely satisfying as the weather gets colder.

This recipe is a little time-consuming, especially for the first half hour or so, but I tried to simplify it by using the same Dutch oven to brown the bacon, brown the beef, cook the vegetables, and to start braising the beef.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup and Stew

6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 TBSP Olive Oil

2 yellow onions, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 TBSP all-purpose flour

1/4 c. brandy

1 bottle red wine (I used Bordeaux)

1 1/2 c. beef stock

1 TBSP tomato paste

6 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

3 TBSP butter

1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

1 package pearl onions (I use fresh, but you could also use frozen.  If you use frozen, skip the blanching step)

1 TBSP cornstarch, mixed with 2 TBSP water

Parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the bacon.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to  paper towels.

Brown about 1/2 of the beef in the bacon grease.    Brown the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the beef to a bowl, and brown the rest of the meat.

Once you’ve browned the beef, add the olive oil to the Dutch oven.  Saute the onions and carrots until lightly browned.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the flour and stir until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.  Return the bacon and the beef to the pot.

Remove from the heat, add the cognac, return to the heat for about 20 seconds, and using a long kitchen match, flambe.  Hold the lit match just above the contents of the pot until it ignites.  The flame should burn for about 30 seconds, but keep the lid of the Dutch oven close by, in case the flame does not go out after a minute.

Once the flame is out, return the pot to medium heat and add the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, transfer the pot to the oven, and braise for about 2 hours.  Cook until the meat is tender and the stew thickens.  I usually check the beef every 30 minutes to see how tender it is and to stir the stew.

During the last 45 minutes while the stew is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the pearl onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain the onions and rinse in cold water.  Remove the skins.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium frying pan.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Melt the remaining butter and add the pearl onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water, cover the onions, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Once the stew meat is tender, remove from the oven, and stir in the mushrooms and pearl onions.  At this point, I return the stew to the stove and thicken, if the meat becomes tender before the stew thickens to my liking.  There are two ways to do this:  I usually just use a mixture of cornstarch and water.  If, however, you’re looking for decadence, mix 1 TBSP of butter with 1 TBSP of flour.  Divide the mixture into small pieces and add slowly to the stew.  Garnish with parsley and you’re ready to go!

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes or au gratin potatoes.