Steak with Brandied Peppercorn Sauce

Our theme for the month of February is food for lovers.     This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and I make it for him for special occasions, like Christmas or his birthday, or just because I love him.    For this dish you can use whatever cut of steak you prefer.  Strip loins are good.   Tenderloins even better.   To make the ones in the photograph I used some nice sirloin steaks.  Now as far as how long to cook them – well it depends on how well done you like your meat.   My steaks were about an inch thick, so I cooked them about 4 minutes a side and then held them in a fairly warm oven for 2 to 3 minutes, and they came out medium rare.   You may have to experiment a little to find your idea of perfect done-ness.   But it’s better to under-cook than overdo it with steak.  The longer you cook it, the tougher it will get.   If you prefer to grill your steak, by all means do so.   The sauce won’t be quite as rich, but it will still be darned tasty.      I also like to rub my steaks with a steak seasoning about an hour before cooking.    There are dozens of different steak seasonings on the market, going by various names such as Canadian Steak Seasoning,   Most of them are pretty similar. If you don’t have one, just use garlic powder, sea salt and pepper to your taste.

Two 6 to 8 oz. steaks
Your favorite steak seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped fine
3 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipping cream or half and half


About an hour before cooking, sprinkle steak seasoning on both sides of the steaks and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to cook them.
Preheat a skillet over a medium hot burner.   Melt the butter.    Place the steaks in the hot skillet and cook until they reach desired degree of done-ness.   (4 to 5 minutes per side for a 1 inch thick steak)
Transfer to a heated plate and set aside.  (if you have a slightly warm oven to hold them in, even better, but don’t allow steak to cook more.) Put the chopped shallot in the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.    Add the brandy and simmer until almost evaporated.    Whisk in the stock, Dijon Mustard , Worcestershire Sauce, peppercorns and tomato paste.    Simmer until reduced by half.    Whisk in the cream.  Transfer the steaks to serving plates and spoon sauce over top.   Enjoy.
The White Oak Inn 
Yvonne Martin
The Ohio Broad

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