Recipe: Steak au Poivre

Romantic meal for two on Valentine's Day

VIDEO: In this segment of Culinary Nunn Sense, Richard shares his recipe for steak au poivre using tenderloin and fresh-ground black pepper with a roasted red pepper sauce and a cream sauce.

On this very special episode of Culinary Nunnsense we are cooking up romance for two.

2 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon clarified unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac or Culinary Nunnsense style, Bourbon, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup half n half or heavy cream
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt. This simple step will allow for proper cooking to desired doneness. 
Coarsely crush whole peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of an iron skillet or a peppermill. Roll the tenderloin along the edge through the pepper until coated all the way around the edge. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then add olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Medium around 8 minutes and well done 10 minutes each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac or Bourbon to the pan and scrape the good stuff from the bottom of the pan. BE CAREFUL HERE AS THE ALCOHOL COULD CATCH FIRE. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac or Bourbon and season, to taste, with salt.
Red Pepper Coulis:
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 C Chicken, Vegetable or Beef Broth (in the recipe Beef works best)
salt and pepper

Roast the red pepper over open flame or under a broiler until skin is charred all the way around.
Place in a paper bag or in a bowl and allow to cool to the touch. This allows the skin to steam a little which makes for easy removal.
With your fingers remove the charred skin, seeds and stem.
Place the roasted pepper in a processor and blend with broth/stock.
Add the broth/stock slowly. The pepper coulis should be slightly thick. If it is too thin you can cook some of the liquid off in a skillet over medium heat.

Pair with a salad and some dessert and you are on your way to a romantic and tasty meal for two.