Bringing back a classic. Want to impress your significant other with an impossibly fancy-sounding dish that really isn’t all that complicated? Then Steak Au Poivre (pronounced oh-pwav) is your guy, …er recipe. Even though we made it for our Valentine’s dinner, you can make it for any special occasion, or just because.
Steak au poivre sounds as if it would be difficult, but it is actually quite simple to prepare, and makes an easy and elegant (perhaps somewhat pricy) meal. Essentially it is a sautéed steak, with a quick pan sauce. This version made with black peppercorns tastes bright but not overpoweringly peppery or boozy.
Although the classic cut of beef for this dish is filet mignon, other cuts of boneless steak can be prepared au poivre, including boneless ribeye, strip steak (our choice), or sirloin. Just remember, a bad or tough steak will still be tough, so select a decent piece of beef with good marbling. It’s best if you season the raw steaks with salt and pepper then place them on a rack without covering in the fridge for 8 up to 24 hours. Take them out of refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
Because pepper is such an important part of the dish (at least one teaspoon of whole peppercorns per steak), it’s applaudable to splurge on high quality peppercorns. Crush the peppercorns with a light hand. They should be “just-cracked” into big pieces, so it’s best to use a mallet, or mortar and pestle, but not a pepper grinder. The au poivre sauce is made from pan drippings, liquor, and cream.
2 1½”-thick New York strip steaks (about 1½ lb. total)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 Garlic cloves, 2 smashed, 2 thinly sliced
3 Sprigs thyme
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 Large shallot, finely chopped
⅓ cup cognac, dry sherry, or brandy
½ cup heavy cream
Flaky sea salt
Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Season all over with kosher salt and a generous amount of ground pepper. Let sit 15–30 minutes.
Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or place in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a small saucepan (they should be a lot coarser than ground pepper).
Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook steaks, undisturbed, until a deep golden brown crust forms underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook on second side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. If the steaks have a fat cap, stand them on their sides with tongs and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add smashed garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and 1 Tbsp. butter to the pan. Cook, basting steak continuously, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each steak registers 120°, about 2 minutes. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine shallot, sliced garlic, crushed peppercorns, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and cook, stirring often, until shallot and garlic are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add cognac to pan. Set over medium heat and cook until cognac is mostly evaporated and spoon leaves streaks in skillet while stirring, 1–2 minutes. Add cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce coats spoon, about 1 minute. Season with kosher salt.
Slice steaks against the grain and transfer to a platter. Pour any juices from cutting board back into skillet and stir into sauce. Spoon sauce generously over steak; sprinkle with sea salt.
With the end of summer holiday on the horizon, a grilled steak is always a fan favorite. While there are some steaks that need nothing more than a little salt and pepper to bring out their beefy goodness, flank steak is not one of them.
This bold marinade is just the sort of seasoning the brawny cut begs for: lime juice and zest add brightness, brown sugar sweetness, and jalapeño and sriracha a complex heat. Just whiz it all together in a food processor and slather it on the meat.
Marinate overnight preferably, or a minimum of 2 hours, before tossing it on the grill. Lastly, always make more flank steak that you think you want. Leftovers are the best part—we used ours as part of a steak salad. For an extra boost of flavor, try adding 1/4 cup of bourbon and a little Worcestershire.
In a food processor, pulse together scallions, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, lime zest and juice, and sriracha. With the motor running, pour in oil until smooth
Season steak with salt. Place in a large bowl and pour marinade over meat. Turn to coat well with the mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook the steak, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Transfer the meat to the grill and cook, covered, until it reaches the desired doneness (about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare). Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
In a recent Milk Street article we found this Strip Steaks with Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce recipe which pairs a meaty steak with the sort of tomato sauce that might typically be used on pizza. There are many ways to prepare the dish, but this simple version is perfect for a weeknight meal.
The sauce is made with canned tomatoes, a punchiness from garlic and pepper flakes, and the umami quotient gets a kick up with a few anchovy fillets (in case you’re worried, the sauce won’t taste fishy at all). Slice and sauce the seared strip steaks, then finish the dish with torn fresh basil and fruity olive oil.
Our steaks were actually grilled because we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, but either stovetop or hot grill sears the meat nicely. We served ours with orzo treated with olive oil and parsley; another option is thick slices of warm, crusty bread to dip in the sauce. And if you are lucky enough to have any of that fabulous sauce leftover, use it on pasta.
NOTE: Don’t use extra-virgin olive oil to sear the steaks; its smoke point is too low. Use grapeseed or another neutral oil to achieve a deep sear and to avoid the off flavor of overheated olive oil.
Keep in mind, the original recipe from Milk Street indicated this recipe would serve 4 to 6. The portions would be rather paltry if trying to feed six people. Our two strip steaks were smaller and a bit thinner, weighing in at just over a pound for two of them which rendered three servings.
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2-3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped
1/2-3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 1-lb. beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed and patted dry
1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until beginning to turn golden, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add the anchovies and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes with juices, a few basil leaves and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and set aside; wipe out the skillet.
Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper. In the same skillet over medium-high, heat the neutral oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks, reduce to medium and cook until well browned on the bottoms, 5 to 7 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the steaks and cook until the second sides are well browned and the centers register 120°F for medium-rare, another 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and slice them on the diagonal ¼ to ½ inch thick. Return to the platter and spoon on some of the sauce.
Tear the remaining basil and sprinkle it over the top, then drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
A new take on your steak and potatoes menu is this thinly sliced skirt steak with a lightly smoky, tangy paprika butter. While the steak recipe is enough to feed 10, and the potato recipe feeds 6-8, we halved both of them and still had leftovers for another meal. Both the meat and potato recipes hail from Food & Wine, neither of which employ a long list of ingredients.
Adobo Seco was our seasoning of choice for rubbing both sides of the steak(s), although just using salt and pepper works fine too. Remember, skirt steak is a very thin piece of meat so it will cook quickly on the grill, just a couple of minutes per side for medium rare. Make sure to slice against the grain when cutting it.
If desired, go ahead and make the paprika butter which can stand at room temperature for up to 4 hours; reheat the butter gently. We took the opportunity to do this step ahead of time, so we wouldn’t be rushed at the last minute.
4 lbs small Yukon Gold potatoes, about 1 1/2″ diameter
1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounce)
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves (about 1/4 ounce)
Kosher salt, to taste
Add water to a Dutch oven to a depth of 1/2 inch; place a steamer basket in Dutch oven. Bring water to a boil over high. Place potatoes in steamer basket. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam until potatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium. Add sage leaves, and cook, stirring constantly, until leaves turn dark green in spots and butter is light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet, and gently smash using the bottom of a measuring cup. Transfer to a large serving bowl, and gently toss with sage butter. Season with salt to taste.