Monday, June 20, 2011

Black Peppercorn Crusted Steak

On the second Valentines Day that Kelly and I celebrated together, he took me to an Italian restaurant in San Antonio. When he saw a peppercorn crusted steak on the menu, he just had to try it. Since then, both of us have loved that flavor and texture combination. Our favorite steak house, Four Winds, serves one on occasion, but after seeking out one like the first one, this is my take on it's easy! I have developed a sauce to pour over the top (to which my father thinks is a sin to put on a steak) but it gives it a wonderful gourmet look, and great taste, especially for you blue cheese lovers. Plus, you can always serve the sauce on the side. This will serve 2 people, but feel free to multiply for more. I double and cut up the steak to go on a salad the next day! 

Ingredients for Steak:
  • 2 (10oz) filet mignon
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (it can take the high heat)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (finely ground)
  • 2 tbsps coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter

Ingredients for Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (any blue will work)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 Directions for Steak:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat a large pan, or you can use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet 
over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. While the pan is heating, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil.  TIP: Make sure you oil meat BEFORE rolling into the salt/pepper mixture 
(or any spice mixture) so that it sticks!

4. Combine the salt and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, 
pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.

5. When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides
for about 2 minutes per side for the top, bottom, and the edges; for a total of 10-12 minutes.

TIP: If you get a thicker cut of meat, you need to sear the edges, 
however with a thinner cut you can skip that step for a total of 4 minutes.

6. Remove the pan/skillet from the heat.

7. Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven.
If the steak is longer, I spread the butter out to cover (as shown in the picture.)

8. Cook the steaks until they reach 125 degrees for medium-rare.
TIP: To make sure you get a correct reading, 
test the middle of the steak by using a 45 degree angle.

9. Remove the steaks to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil
and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

10. Serve hot with Blue Cheese Sauce on the side.

Directions for Blue Cheese Sauce:

1. Bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium heat.
2. Cook at a low boil until it becomes creamy and thick (roughly 15 - 20 minutes.)

3. Remove from heat and add the cheese, salt & pepper and whisk until blended and cheese is melted.

You can serve the sauce on the side or drizzle over the top for a true restaurant look. I also like to serve my Rosemary & Garlic Smashed Potatoes on the side.

Bon Appetit!

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