Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre - Bake, Braise & Broil

There are a lot of ways to eat steak. I'm from the heartland of Canadian cattle country and I'm pretty sure I've tried them all.  Of course, there are going to be several different opinions of what constitutes the perfect steak, and I'm probably going to catch some flac for this, but for me - it isn't off the BBQ. No, no, no. MY perfect steak is done on a stove top (gasp!). Classically considered a French bistro dish, Steak au Poivre is my perfect way to indulge.  If you're a meat lover, this post is for you. 

Steak au Poivre - Bake, Braise & Broil

I think a part of what appeals to me so much about this recipe is its simplicity. The steak is seasoned with two ingredients: salt and peppercorns. It might sound crazy to coat two steaks with 2 whole tablespoons of peppercorns, but when they aren't finely ground the spice is much more subtle. Dressing the meat this way also lets it shine through. This is beef at its best.  

Steak au Poivre - Bake, Braise & Broil

Using a cast iron pan is my second secret. These pans retain heat well and are practically non-stick. Cooking the steaks on high heat, turning ~once per minute creates an even, golden crust with no burning. Depending on the thickness of your steak, you're looking for a total of 3-4 minutes per side for rare.  If there is a side of fat on your steak, render it down for a couple minutes by propping the steak up. In the final minutes, we add some butter for extra flavour and to start providing the base for a delicious Cognac pan sauce. When the steaks are cooked to your liking, remove to a cutting board and tent with foil. You'll be left with something closely resembling this:

Steak au Poivre - Bake, Braise & Broil

Up last is to create a rich cognac pan sauce that sends this over the top. In your pan, we will add shallot, (more butter), Cognac, cream, thyme and parsley. After cooking and reducing the sauce, we pour it over the sliced steak. When I have this for dinner, steak is all I need. There is something ridiculous & awesome about eating just steak for dinner, I hope you try it! 

Steak au Poivre - Bake, Braise & Broil

And of course, this goes REALLY well with a glass of Cognac. Hope you guys enjoy!

Until next week....

James Ede


The Ultimate Cheese Fondue

The Ultimate Cheese Fondue

Cheese fondue. Those two words contain some of my most fond memories. Friends & family gathered around a pot of delicious, oooey goooey cheese for hours eating, drinking & laughing.  These are the kind of nights memories are made of.

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

One of my most fond memories was also one of my greatest culinary mishaps. Friends the world over had gathered in the beautiful Canadian Okanagan to celebrate the marriage of two of my closest friends, Jeremy and Leah. We were surrounded by one of the best wine regions in Canada (the world). We had picked an assortment of fresh, local produce and cheeses for the fondue to end all fondue’s. 

Then the great cheese curd of 2012 occurred. An unfortunate combination of infrequent stirring, too high a heat and adding too much cheese too quickly - we were left with a giant ball of solid cheese and a liquid broth surrounding it. It still tasted damn delicious and we laugh about it to this day - but I'm here to give you my insider tips so you get a beautiful fondue, every time. 

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

First up is creating a thick wine sauce within which we will gradually add cheese.  This wine sauce serves as the base, ensuring our heat isn't too high and allows the cheese to melt slowly into a silky fondue.  After creating a roux to thicken the wine, make sure you turn your heat to low. The sauce should no longer be bubbling when you start to add your cheese and never bring it to a boil once you've started adding cheese. Another tip: add your cheese 1/5 at a time. When it all melts, add the next fifth an so on until all the cheese is incorporated. Lastly, stirring. I have no idea if this is true, but a few people claim that stirring the cheese in a circular motion can cause it to clump. Instead, use a Z-pattern through the cheese. [No idea if this last trick is true - but it's worked everytime - apparently i'm a superstitious man].  

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

That's it! Pretty simple huh? You can modify this recipe many, MANY ways. You can change the variety of cheeses and add additional flavourings. I've added garlic, nutmeg and cherry liquor before - all a little different and all delicious.



You can also switch up what you accompany THE ULTIMATE fondu with.  Bread, in my opinion is essential, and we have a great recipe for homemade rye sourdough here if you've got the time!  

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

The last round of cheese fondue, I made a pea & mint mash. Spread over bread and then drizzled with fondue cheese, it's sensational. To make, bring 1 cup chicken broth to boil in sauce pan. Add 2 cups frozen peas and cook until broth has reduced by 2/3rds. Season with salt and pepper and add 1/2 cup minced mint. Mash and you're ready to go. 

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

Also delicious over bread and drizzled with cheese? Caramelized onions. These are also dead simple, and the recipe can be found in our pork panini post here.

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

An all time favourite for fondu is pan seared mushrooms. A cast iron pan plus a little  butter, some mushrooms, salt and pepper and you're left with these little flavour nuggets. 

The Ultimate Cheese Fondue

Crispy potatoes are also a cheese fondue favourite. They are easily the first to go, everytime. 

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

Aaaaaand, steak. Yup. It might seem crazy. But it's damn delicious. For those of you who aren't vegetarians, a seasoned and BBQ'd steak is a perfect to dunk into rich cheese. 

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil

Last up, is wrangle together some good company. It shouldn't be too hard, just about everyone loves cheese and if you're feeling a little lacking in the friends department, this is a sure fire way to make some new ones. Look at these dumb smiles:

The Ultimate Cheese Fondu - Bake, Braise & Broil
Cheese Fondu-25.jpg

That's it! My sure-fire way to a successful fondue. Enjoy guys!

Until next week...

James Ede Signature