It’s Friday and that means it’s time for French Fridays with Dorie! I decided this week’s recipe, Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak, was special-occasion worthy, so we had it for Easter Dinner. I served it with mashed potatoes (or purée as they would say in France) and roasted asparagus.
This dish was inspired by one of Dorie’s favorite neighborhood restaurants, Bistrot Paul Bert. Start with a steak, filet mignon is recommended, and press crushed peppercorns into both sides. The steak is quickly seared on both sides over high heat.
After the steak is seared and the pan cooled slightly Cognac is added to the pan. Dorie gives the cook two choices: flame the Cognac or let it boil down. I intended to flame the Cognac, but my pan was so hot it reduced almost instantly after I poured it into the pan. So I moved on to the next step, adding cream to the pan and letting it simmer for a couple of minutes. Salt to taste and serve over the steaks.
This method of cooking produces a rare steak. My husband prefers his steaks more well done, so I did his an extra minute per side. It still ended up too pink for his liking. I like my steaks more rare, so didn’t mind how pink it was, but next time I would cook it slightly longer even for my steak.
There are a couple of ways to get less-rare steaks. One is to cook the steaks at a lower temperature. On high they seared really quickly, and keeping them on the stove longer would have burned the outside. A lower temperature would allow them to cook longer. Another option is to sear the steaks quickly on the stove, then place them in the oven while you make the sauce. I think this is the method I will try next time.
We loved this steak! Even though it was a little more rare than he likes, my husband ate every bite of his and I thoroughly enjoyed mine.