Thursday, July 23, 2009

Steak au Poivre p. 730

Also called: Pan-seared steak with black pepper and red wine

Ingredients: tenderloin (I used a strip steak), ground black pepper, butter, shallot, wine, tarragon, salt.

This month I ordered Angel Food Ministries box. I’ve done it once in the past, but didn’t like the quality of meat, so I didn’t order it for quite a few months. This month’s box looked better and promised higher quality. Having taken advantage of perhaps one too many summer sales, I decided a week of cheap food was in order. In the box I received 4 New York strip steaks. I searched through the book to find something I could do with my meat and came across this recipe.

So, what initially drew me to this recipe was that I couldn’t pronounce it. I like it when something I cook is too complicated for me to even pronounce. It makes me feel all fancy. Plus it called for wine, which required a trip to the liquor store to stock up. And once I opened a bottle of wine, that would mean it would be open and some would be left, and I would just have to drink some, otherwise it would be wasteful. I’d hate to waste wine.

Back to the food, this is an easy and fast recipe which results in something tender and delicious. Sprinkle your steaks with some freshly ground pepper and then pan sear them for a few minutes on each side.

Then you cook some shallots (which I didn’t happen to have this time, but certainly would be delicious) with your red wine and tarragon, and reduce the liquid. When you serve your steak pour some of the red wine sauce over it.

I haven’t cooked much with tarragon before, I was actually surprised to find that I had it. But it is a flavor I definitely love and will try to use more of in the future. It’s perfect on steak. We, again, weren’t impressed with the quality of the meat, but we didn’t let that stop us from devouring it. Try this recipe today. It will change your life.

Served with baked potato and green beans


  1. I havenot made this recipe yet. I don't understand Bittman's write up that you pre-heat the pan at medium heat for 3 minutes. It appears that the pan is not hot enough that the steak didnot have a brown crust. Usually what I saw on PBS cooking shows is that you heat the pan at medium high heat for a while unitl it is almost smoking (not with Teflon lined pan), then add a combination of oil and butter since the oil prevents the butter from burning.Paul.

  2. Actually, I made the burger version of this recipe (variation 1). I cooked the burger with oil, then add shallots, dried thyme (did not have tarragon and thyme is French enough), 1 teaspoon of butter (I have to watch my saturated fat intake), and the wine. It was very good. Paul.