The craving: I’m in the mood for steak, but am feeling a little French and saucy.
The palate: rich with a spark.
The dish: Filet Mignon with Au Poivre Steak Sauce.
Found notably at French restaurants, Au Poivre sauce with its creamy, buttery texture, offset by the fiery notes of the pepper, is a luxurious addition to the already velvety character of your filet mignon steak. The filet mignon, known for its lush tenderness, has a subtle flavor that can be elevated to the next level with this elegant sauce.
Steak au poivre, supposedly originated in 19th century France, but several renowned chefs have tried to declare authorship of the dish. “Saveur” magazine notes that French steak specialist, Francis Marie, claims gentlemen of the 1800s capitalized on the rumored aphrodisiac effects of pepper by wining and dining their women with this dish.
For the best results, using fresh black peppercorns is key to the most potent flavor. Crushing the peppercorns rather than reducing them to a fine grind, ups the ante even more. Chef Dave Beaulieu recommends the steakhouse trick of removing the pan from the oven approximately a minute early, then adding butter to the pan on high heat on the stove. He then bastes the filets with the melted butter for about 30 seconds before setting aside to finish the sauce. This step completes the cooking while incorporating the drippings from the bottom of the pan for incredibly intense flavor.
Besides pepper, ingredients typically include beef stock, cream and butter.
- add spirits: wine, brandy or cognac
- saturate flavor: shallots or garlic
- boost seasonings: bay leaf, star anise or tarragon