August 28, 2009

Pan-seared Steak with Black Pepper and Red Wine Sauce

This is also known as Steak au Poivre, but either way...Oh. Mah. Gah.

I rarely have steak*. It can be fairly expensive and as someone who tries to eat healthy, I tend to go for more lean cuts of protein, like boneless/skinless chicken or fish. But, every once in a while, the ravenous carnivore inside me demands steak (sorry, Dad!). Alex's mom had brought us a kosher steak and we decided to sear it up for dinner last night.

This simple deliciousness was inspired by Mark Bittman's recipe in How To Cook Everything, with a few substitutions. Alex comandeered the kitchen last night, and I was happy to let him take charge. The steak was perfectly seared, with a few caramelized edges and a really rich flavor. But the sauce was the crowning glory. Oh, this sauce is AH.MA.ZING. Seriously, we pretty much licked the dishes clean last night. And it's such simple ingredients that anyone can make it.

The red wine is used to de-glaze the pan after the steak has cooked, so it picks up all the bits and pieces from the bottom and reduces to concentrate the flavor. We used a Merlot that was hanging around, getting a little lonely. The recipe then called for butter, but we couldn't mix the dairy/meat, so we used a bit of olive oil to create the velvety texture. The flavor of the merlot combined with the meat and some freshly cracked pepper was so complex and....well, words just fail me. You'll have to make it for yourself to truly understand.

1 8-oz Steak (depending on how many people you're serving)
3/4 cup good red wine (something you like to drink)
Freshly cracked black pepper
Kosher salt
1-2 TBS olive oil (or butter for you non-kosher folk)
1 shallot, finely minced

Preheat the oven to 500 and turn on your stove fan.

Heat a heavy bottom stainless steel skillet over high heat until it's screaming hot. Sprinkle with kosher salt and lay the steak on it carefully. It will smoke, but that's okay. Do not move the steak. Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and allow it to sear for about 4-5 minutes, each side.

Carefully place the skillet on the bottom rack in the oven and let the steak finish cooking, about 3-5 more minutes, depending on thickness. Don't overcook the steak! It will be a tragedy for all involved. Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest on a plate, tented with foil. The resting period is essential, as it gives all the juices time to redistribute themselves.

Meanwhile, carefully pour the red wine into the skillet, and scrape up all the bits stuck onto the bottom. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the wine to reduce. Stir in shallots and a bit more cracked pepper. After the sauce has reduced by half, remove from the heat and stir in olive oil or butter until it's glossy and velvety. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately. Sop up every last delicious bit with bread or potatoes.

*Get it? RAREly have steak? HA!!!!


Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The red wine sauce looks amazing!