101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: Beef Tenderloin – Part 2 - Steak a poivre (Pan-seared steak with black pepper and red wine)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beef Tenderloin – Part 2 - Steak a poivre (Pan-seared steak with black pepper and red wine)

The Alton Brown recipe involved flame and open fire. Not in my kitchen. Also I don’t have the cognac. MS-NBC had a recipe that appeared safer. I also referenced a recipe in a CI (Cooks Illustrated) cookbook. I added them all together and here we go.
Ingredients:  4 tenderloin filets mignons (also works with strip, or rib-eye steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each)
Black pepper About 2 T coarsely crushed
3 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3/4 cup good red wine
Garlic one clove


1. Salt steaks lightly. Sprinkle the steaks liberally with coarsely grind pepper about 2 tablespoon of pepper and press it into the meat. Do not blacken or do just one side. Let set for about 30 minutes to get to room temperature.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes; turn the oven to 300° F and preheat oven pan (grill pan). The skillet MUST not be non-stick. I use my good All-Clad 12”.

3. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter (or olive oil) into the skillet; when the foam subsides, turn the heat up to medium-high and put in the steaks. Cook the steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare meat, a bit longer if you like it medium to well done. Use a meat thermometer to check for about 130-140 temp.  I undercook them a bit as they will continue to cook in the oven. Transfer the steaks to the oven on the grill pan in the oven.

4. Over medium heat, add the remaining butter to the pan, along with the shallot. Stir until the shallot softens, about 1 minute.
5. Add the wine and one glove fresh garlic, raise the heat to high, and let most of the liquid bubble away.

6. You must use a meat thermometer. Remove when done to taste (about 140-150 for me). Pour any juices that have accumulated around the steaks into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Notes: I got rid of Allspice that was mixed with the pepper in the original recipe . Decreased the pepper. Put garlic in the sauce instead of tarragon. Also the heat is wrong for an electric stove. Do 4-5 minutes per side at medium-high and cook until 130 at least. I also increase temp of oven to continue some cooking instead of keep warm only.

Note 2: All pictures taken at a later date with the modifications mentioned.

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