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Steak au poivre
For the steak:
2 tbs butter
2 tbs brandy or cognac
1/4 cup cream
Coarsely grind peppercorns with a peppermill or coffeebean grinder. Season steaks lightly with salt and dredge in black pepper, making a thin coating over entire steak.
Heat butter in skillet over medium high heat. Cook steak for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how well you want your steak done. When it's to your preference, get ready to pour brandy (or cognac) over steak. Be careful. It will sizzle and pop. If you have a low hood (or microwave or cabinet or anything) directly over your stove top, move the skillet to a heat proof surface (with nothing at least 3-4 feet above it) to ignite. (So you don't catch anything on fire!) Standing at least arm's length from the skillet, carefully ignite with a long fireplace lighter. The flames will be high but will subside quickly. When it stops flaming, remove the steak to a plate and add the cream to the skillet. Heat through and stir well to incorporate the juices.
Optional: serve with Potato Gratin Dauphinois:
Several Yukon Gold (or russet) potatoes
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small pinch ground cinammon
2 small pinches ground nutmeg
salt and white pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375. Peel and very thinly slice potatoes (I used a Salad Shooter to make it easy). In a skillet, heat milk, cream, garlic and spices until bubbly. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer everything to a buttered casserole dish, pressing down with the back of a spoon to make sure all the potato slices are covered with liquid. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.