Anthony Bourdain’s Steak Au Poivre

What a week it has been – first Kate Spade and then Anthony Bourdain, both gone well before their time. It’s shaken so many people, me included. My parents came from India one year and we went to Les Halles, Bourdain’s restaurant in downtown NYC. We all remember that night so well. I would often see him on a Citibike around town. Who would have thought he was depressed? But depression is real. And outward appearances may not be a real reflection of what someone is feeling. So take that moment to put away your phones and actually talk to someone with whom you would have otherwise just texted. You never know, you may just be helping them without even realizing it. We all just need to be kind to one another and we all just need to hear each other. Maybe you can just call someone over and enjoy this meal with them.

This recipe is one of my favorites. I love a good steak au poivre and boy did Bourdain do a great job with it. This is his recipe. Thank you Mr Bourdain for being the amazing creator and introducer of all the wonderful foods I may never have tried. May you Rest In Peace.

  • 2 8-ounce steaks
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 oz freshly cracked peppercorns (crushed but not ground to powder!)
  • 2 oz sweet butter
  • 1/2 oz good Cognac (or pear juice)
  • 2 oz strong, dark veal stock (or beef stock)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Moisten the meat very slightly with oil, then dredge each of the steaks in the crushed peppercorns to thoroughly coat.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over high heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add half of the butter.
  5. Place the steaks in the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare, and so on.
  7. Remove from the oven and remove the steaks from the pan to rest.
  8. Return the skillet to the stovetop and carefully stir in the Cognac.
  9. Carefully add the Cognac to the still-hot pan off the flame, stirring and scraping with the wooden spoon to get every scrap, every peppercorn, every rumor of flavor clinging to the bottom of the pan.
  10. Now place the pan on the flame again and cook it down a bit, by about half.
  11. Stir in the veal/beef stock and reduce over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  12. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve immediately.
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