Archive for December 13th, 2010

Pepper Steak (European Style)

A couple of posts ago I featured a pillar of flame in the kitchen that appears when Jim makes Pepper Steak.   This is a truly wonderful “company meal” in that it is quite delicious plus it provides an opportunity to impress your guests.   You don’t have to use really expensive steaks because you get lots of flavor from the pepper.

I got requests for the recipe, and so, here you are.  Just a note here.   The recipe is in a hand made recipe book created by Jim’s brother and his wife.  I am reproducing it here, sans the typographical errors in the original, with commentary in italics by Jim.


This originally French recipe is very popular in Germany.   Although not something one would want to eat the night before a cholesterol test, it is well worth indulging in occasionally.   Acceptable, but not as good as the tenderloin, is either ribeye or sirloin steaks, as long as they are thick cut.  (if you are using a thinner steak, adjust the cooking time down or the steaks will be over-cooked)

2           6 oz Beef Tenderloin steaks, approximately 1 1/2″ (3 cm) thick   The sauce recipe makes plenty of sauce for four steaks, with plenty for the mashed potatoes

Coarsely Cracked Black Pepper   Jim uses at least 6 Tablespoons of whole pepper, cracked with the side of a large kitchen knife of meat cleaver.   Don’t be shy, use lots.

2 Tbsp  Butter

6 Tbsp Brandy

1 C heavy cream

4 tsp   Green peppercorns in brine, drained and coarsely chopped.

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

(Remove the batteries from your smoke detector.)

Season steaks with a generous amount of cracked black pepper.  Melt butter in heavy large skillet (we prefer using cast iron)over high heat.   Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for rare (if steaks are 1 1/2″ thick).   Transfer steaks to plate, tent with foil and place in 175 F oven to keep warm.   Remove skillet from heat.   Add brandy to skillet and ignite with match (use caution!).   Return skillet to heat and bring brandy to boil, scraping up any browned bits.   Add cream and green peppercorns, boil until reduced to sauce consistency (approximately 5 or 6 minutes).   Whisk in mustard and any drippings from steak, pour sauce over steaks and serve immediately.  (We serve the sauce on the side).


Cooking the seasoned steaks:

Ready to tent:

Adding the brandy:


Almost ready for the cream:

Reducing the sauce:

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