Chef Eric never said where this dish originated but I think that peppercorn steak must be French as it contains some standard French ingredients such as cognac, shallots, butter, wine and cream!
In our class we used the less expensive New York strip loin as tenderloin is apparently too ‘tender’ to hold up to this peppery sauce. We used whole ‘rare’ peppercorns, a mix of black, green, white and red peppercorns.
- The sauce was prepared first; fairly simple except for the fact that we crushed the peppercorns and then blanched them three times, draining with a sieve in between each blanching, to mellow the flavour and heat.
- In a small saucepan we added butter, then ‘sweated’ the blanched peppercorns and chopped shallots for a few minutes
- Then, very French, the cognac was added and ignited. Flambé!!!
- The pan was deglazed with white wine (amazing how it well it cleans the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan, and tastes good to boot).
- After it has reduced by 50%, the veal stock is added and the sauce is further reduced.
- Once we were close to serving time, the steak was seared in a hot pan with a small amount of butter and oil.
- Once the steaks were removed from the pan, and the excess fat poured off, the peppercorn sauce plus 1/4 cup cream was added to the drippings. Also a bit more cognac and another flambé.
If the entire meal had been truly French this would have been served with pommes frites and possibly a few stalks of asparagus. But for the World Spices class, we had it with oven roasted cauliflower, Middle-Eastern style.
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/