Chef Anthony Mandriota shared some expert cooking tips that chefs learn in culinary school, and made a recipe for Steak Au Poivre. (see below). For more information on Nossi College of Art’s culinary workshops and the new culinary arts degree, enrolling now for Fall 2021, visit www.nossi.edu.
Steak au Poivre
2 -3/4- to 1-inch-thick boneless New York strip steaks, approximately 10 to 12 oz each1 tsp kosher salt2-3 Tbs whole peppercorn blend, or black peppercorns, crushed.1 Tbs olive oil1 Tbs butter2 Tbs finely chopped shallots1/2 cup beef stock1/4 cup brandy3/4 cup heavy cream
1. Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy skillet.
2. Liberally season steak with salt and crushed peppercorns, being sure to coat the entire surface of the meat. Using your hands, press the peppercorns into the meat to create an even coating.
3. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the steak to the pan and sear for 4 minutes. Being careful to keep the peppercorn crust turn and sear the other side for another 4 minutes for medium-rare. If steak has a fat-cap on be sure to sear it as well for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Once cooked to desired doneness, remove the steaks to a cutting board to rest.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and, off the heat, add the brandy to the pan and, if desired, carefully ignite the brandy. The alcohol will cook off whether ignited or not. Gently shake pan until the flames die.
6. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk in the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the pepper and scrapings. Reduce by one half.
7. Add the cream and continue to whisk. Cook until mixture begins to reduce and thicken, 5-7 minutes. The final pan sauce should have a rich consistency and coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt to taste.
8. Slice the steak into ½-inch (1.5cm) pieces. Pour cream sauce over the top and serve.
Cooking with alcohol
Alcohol evaporates at 172 degrees. Any sauce or stew that is simmering or boiling is hot enough to evaporate the alcohol. Igniting the alcohol is nice for show but use caution when igniting alcohol. Remove the pan from the heat source before adding the alcohol. Pour the alcohol into the pan and carefully ignite with a match or lighter. Return the pan to the heat and gently swirl to reduce the flames. The alcohol will cook off whether ignited or not.