Steak au Poivre
- 1½ pounds beef filet mignon steaks, cut about 1-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, cubed
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/3 cup cognac
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Remove the beef from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature. Season the filets lightly with salt and set aside.
- Pulse peppercorns lightly in a spice grinder, leaving them in fairly large pieces. Dredge each side of the filets in the crushed peppercorns.
- Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the butter and oil begin to smoke, add the filets and sear on one side until they release from the pan, about 4 minutes. Turn and sear on the second side for about another 4 minutes for medium-rare steaks. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.
- Remove any excess oil from the pan and return to the heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the Cognac and minced shallot. Carefully tip the pan to flame the Cognac and let it cook down for about 1 minute, scraping any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and simmer for another 4 minutes or so to reduce the cream somewhat. Adjust seasoning with salt. Place the steaks on warm serving plates and pour the cream sauce over the top.
Potatoes Au Gratin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 russet potatoes, sliced 1/4–inch thick
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter. Spread potatoes evenly in pan.
- Whisk heavy cream, milk, garlic, flour, salt, Parmesan, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour cream mixture over potatoes. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven; sprinkle Gruyere cheese on top. Return to oven; broil on low until the cheese is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving.