Steak au Poivre
Couple of tips for this recipe. Before cooking the steaks, bring them to room temperature by taking them out of the fridge ~30 minutes before you want to cook. When cooking the steaks, best results will always occur in a cast iron pan, but a metal pan will work in a pinch. Lastly, because of the high heat used, make sure to turn the steaks about once per minute to prevent burning. This will also help to ensure the steaks cook evenly. If you have a side of fat on your New York Strip steaks, render it down by propping the steaks on their side for a couple minutes to create some delicious pan juices.
2, 1.5 inch thick New York strip steaks
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp butter
1 large, finely diced shallot
0.25 cup Cognac
0.5 cup heavy cream
2 tsp chopped, fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped, fresh parsley
Using the back of a pan, crush the peppercorns ensuring that they are all cracked. You're looking for a variety of sizes here, so don't worry if they aren't all uniform.
Spread the peppercorns between the two steaks, pressing with your fingers to ensure they stick. Coat both the front and back of the steaks. Also season liberally with kosher salt.
In cast iron skillet, heat canola oil over high heat. Just before pan starts to smoke, add steaks and turn heat down to medium or medium-high depending on your stove. You want to hear sizzling when the steaks hit the pan.
Using tongs, turn the steaks approximately once per minutes to prevent burning. An even brown crust should be forming on each side of the steak. Cook for ~3-5 minutes per side for rare (a total of 6-10 flips). Just before the steaks are done, add 1 tbsp butter to the pan. Using a spoon, catch the fat dripping and coat over the steaks a few times. When cooked, remove from pan and place on cutting board. Tent with foil and let sit 4-5 minutes. While the steak rests, make the Cognac pan sauce.
Turn heat to medium. Add remaining butter and shallot and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add Cognac to the pan (*Careful of flare-ups here!) and cook until reduced by half, ~3 minutes. Stir in the cream, thyme and parsley and bring to boil. When boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Slice the steaks and pour half the sauce over each. Serve with a big 'ol glass of Cognac on the side.