Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Le plat principal

As I do every year since 1981, I had steak au poivre (steak with pepper sauce) as the main course for the birthday lunch. The cut of meat varies from year to year. We've used everything from filet to sirloin to flank to rumsteak to faux-filet and even ground beef patties, depending on the year. This year we used entrecôte (rib-eye, club, or Delmonico steak), cut very thick, from a butcher across the river in Thesée. His is the best entrecôte I think I've ever tasted. It was a big steak and a good deal of it was left over for lunch on Tuesday.

Our entrecôte marinating in crushed black peppercorns.

I dry-rubbed the steak with crushed black peppercorns (done in a mortar) and let it sit for an hour or so before cooking. Then Ken seared the steak on both sides in a hot pan with butter. After that, he removed it to a low oven to keep warm while the sauce was made.

Searing the steak in butter.

To make the sauce, Ken de-glazed the pan with calvados (apple brandy from Normandy), flambeed it, and added chopped shallots and crushed green peppercorns (for another layer of pepperiness). He stirred in some cream for more richness and reduced the sauce a little. Then the steak (with all the juices it released) went back into the pan with the sauce.

Lunch is served! Those specks on the plates are bread crumbs left from the first course.

We normally serve the steak with French fries; they're great dipped into the sauce. And a green salad dressed with vinaigrette afterward is a great way to cleanse the palate, if you have room - we didn't this year. With it we drank a 2013 Chinon, made from cabernet franc grapes, that was given to us by friends J&N.


  1. Ahhhhh, always great to see your birthday steak au poivre. It looks delicious, plus, it's a lovely thing to think of you two celebrating another year :)

  2. lol
    your lunches would be considered a very fancy special dinner here.

    1. michael, they are our main meal of the day, so it's not really "lunch." ;)

    2. all the same, I still think you are special.


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