This pan-fried Steak with Peppercorn Brandy Sauce is classic bistro fare. Look for brined green peppercorns in the aisle where capers and pickles are sold in the supermarket.
4 thick cut New York Striploin steaks (1 to 1 1/2-inch thick)
3 tbsp. black peppercorns, crushed
Coarse salt, to taste
1 tbsp. grapeseed oil or peanut oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
Sprig of thyme (optional)
1 tbsp. brined green peppercorns, drained (canned)
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)
1 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
Season steak with crushed black pepper and salt on both sides. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat until very hot.
Sear steaks until well-browned, cooking to medium rare, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Set aside and keep warm.
Reduce the skillet to medium heat. Add butter, shallots and sprig of thyme. Cook until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add green peppercorns. Stir in brandy and beef stock. Bring to a boil and let reduce by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add cream and Dijon and let reduce further, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with steak.
Yield: 4 servings.