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Steak Au Poivre

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4 fillet steaks, about 3/4 thick
3 tablespoons cracked black & white peppercorns
Or 2 tablespoons cracked green & 1 tablespoon cracked black/white peppercorns
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/2 cup beef bouillon
1/3 cup brandy or cognac
salt to taste


Dry steaks, then crush the peppercorns coarsely in a pepper mill. Press the pepper into both sides of the meat and allow the steaks to stand, covered, to absorb the flavor of the pepper. In a heavy frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the butter and the oil and sauté the steaks until they are done to taste. Remove the steaks to a hot platter and keep them warm while preparing the sauce.

Pour out the fat remaining in the frying pan and add one tablespoon of butter and the minced shallots. Cook slowly for 1 min. Add the bouillon and scrape up the meat bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the brandy and boil vigorously to reduce the alcohol. Remove the frying pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Re-season with salt to taste. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Makes 4 servings

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