We celebrated my dad's birthday, yesterday, with a French Bistro inspired dinner. Without a doubt, the star of the show was this Steak au Poivre. Traditionally, Steak au Poivre is made with filet mignon, coated in coarsely cracked black pepper, seared on the stovetop in a smoking hot pan then finished in the oven and served with a cognac infused cream sauce. Our preparation puts a little spin on the dish in that we sear it on the stovetop, but finish it on the grill. The smokiness of the grill pairs nicely with the black pepper and enables you to prepare enough steaks at one time for a small dinner party. We also put our own riff on the sauce by using dry vermouth instead of cognac.
This is a perfect dish to make together because one cook can finish grilling the steaks while the other cook prepares the sauce. Grab a partner (because the whole point is to have fun cooking with someone you love), pour a few glasses of your favorite beverage and turn on some great music. Let's get cooking!
Steak au Poivre
8 filet mignon steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 or 6 fresh thyme sprigs, whole
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons capers, drained
Light charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium high.
Rinse steaks and pat dry. Combine salt and cracked black pepper on a small plate or in a shallow dish. Press each side of steaks into salt/pepper mixture, making sure they are well coated.
Place a heavy skillet over medium high heat and drizzle with oil. Pan is ready when oil just begins to smoke. Sear each steak on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, until well browned and crusted. Remove to a large platter or baking sheet until all steaks have been seared.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallots to drippings in pan. Saute until tender, then deglaze pan with dry vermouth. Allow to cook for one minute, then add beef stock, heavy cream and whole thyme sprigs. Simmer until thickened, then add Dijon mustard and capers. Keep warm until ready to serve (remove thyme sprigs before serving).
Grill steaks as desired, about three to five minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest for several minutes after removing from heat. Serve with pan sauce.
Looking for a wine pairing? We served a French Bordeaux but Cabernet Sauvignon is another great choice.