Monday, January 14, 2013

Seared Steak au Poivre with Brandied Mushrooms and Braised Brussels Sprouts

I ain't gonna lie.  There are few better things than a perfectly medium rare piece of beef.  Don't even argue, it is only THE way to eat it.  Period.  I am from Wyoming and when you cross the state lines there is always a sign that says "Welcome to Wyoming.  Eat Beef".  So we KNOW how beef should be cooked.
The problem with beef is that it kind of gets a bad wrap...and most of it should. But when you are eating grass fed you don't have to feel guilty.  But if you aren't, you should completely feel guilty.  

Anyway, I like my beef simple most of the time...coated in cracked pepper (au poivre) and sea salt is simply wonderful.  But I took it up a notch tonight because I had some mushrooms that needed to be used, and there isn't anything quite like mushrooms with brandy and butter.  Sorry, despite many claims to the contrary, this is no substitution for alcohol.  I mean, I almost puked in my mouth thinking someone out there will surely use, aack, juice, as a replacement.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.  This dish is good.  And I am warning you now that you will crave these mushrooms from now on!

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bunch Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 c. beef stock

4 new york strip steaks, room temperature
4 tbsp. cracked peppercorns

2 tbsp. butter
2 portobello caps, diced
1/2 c. brandy
1/2 c. beef stock
1/4 c. parsley
2 tbsp. butter

Braised Brussels Sprouts
Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat.  Add shallots, cooking until they start to caramelize.  Add Brussels sprouts, stir well, and cook a few minutes so the edges start to golden.  Add the 1/2 c. stock, put on a lid, and reduce heat to low, simmering until the sprouts are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Seared Steak au Poivre
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a grill or grill pan over high heat.  Coat the steak generously with pepper and lightly salt.  Sear steak on each side for 1 minute.  It shouldn't take any longer if you have the heat source at the correct temperature.  Place pan in oven, cooking for 8-10 minutes depending on thickness for medium rare.  Allow the meat to rest 3-5 minutes before cutting it.  This is especially true with grass fed beef as you are compromising the excess fat, and moisture, that is generally present in grain fed beef.

Brandied Mushrooms
Heat a saute pan over medium high.  Add one teaspoon of butter, allow it to melt, and then add the mushrooms.  Saute until they start to caramelize.  Add the brandy, fire it up (the pyro in me loves to come out) and let it burn out.  Reduce by half and then add the stock, once again reducing by half.  Add the parsley and butter and whisk until the butter is incorporated.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve over the steak.

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