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Steak au poivre
or pepper steak
is a French dish
French cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from France that has developed from centuries of social change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a court chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of Medieval France...
that consists of a steak
A steak is a cut of meat . Most are cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, improving the perceived tenderness of the meat. In North America, steaks are typically served grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. The more tender cuts from the loin and rib are cooked quickly, using dry heat, and served whole...
, traditionally a filet mignon
Filet mignon is a steak cut of beef taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin, or psoas major of the beef carcass, usually a steer or heifer...
, coated with loosely cracked peppercorns
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...
and then cooked. The peppercorns form a crust on the steak when cooked and provide a pungent but complementary counterpoint to the rich flavor of the high-quality beef. The peppercorn crust itself is made by placing the steak in a bed of cracked black (or mixed) peppercorns. Typically, the steak is seared in a hot skillet
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle...
with a small amount of butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...
and oil to cook it. The steak is seared at a high temperature to cook the outside quickly and form the crust while leaving the interior rare to medium rare. The steak is then left to rest for several minutes and then served.
Steak au poivre
is often accompanied by a pan sauce
A pan sauce is a type of sauce that is often made to accompany sauteed meats.Generally speaking, a pan sauce is made by sauteing a meat at high temperature in a skillet, removing the meat, pouring off any excess fat, deglazing the pan with a liquid such as stock or wine, and incorporating the...
consisting of reduced cognac
Cognac , named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, in the French Departements of Charente and Charente-Maritime....
, heavy cream, and the fond from the bottom of the pan, often including other ingredients such as butter, shallots, and/or Dijon mustard. Common side dishes to steak au poivre
are various forms of mashed potatoes and pommes frites
(small fried shoestring potatoes). Steak au poivre
may be found in traditional French restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...
s in most urban areas.