Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

This is a classic French dish for which French fries were invented. Serve it with a salad and a bottle of red wine. For more color, mix equal portions of red, green and black peppercorns.

  • Four steaks, ¾ to one-inch thick or about 8 ounces each (New York strip or sirloin work well.)
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots (or onions if you don’t have shallots)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup beef broth or water
  • 6 tablespoons butter, sliced
  1. Pat the steaks dry and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
  2. Grind the four tablespoons of black peppercorns in a pepper mill. If you don’t have a pepper mill, you can use a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife to crush them.
  3. Spread the ground pepper on wax paper or a plate and press the steak into the pepper on both sides pressing with your fingertips to make sure the pepper sticks stick.
  4. Set a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works best) over medium-high heat.
  5. When the pan is hot, add just enough olive oil to make a light film.
  6. Wait a few seconds until the oil is very hot, and then add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned, about 60-90 seconds on a side.  Don’t crowd the steaks or they will steam and not brown nicely. Do them in batches if the pan is too small to do them all at once.
  7. Remove them and keep them warm in a 200°F oven.
  8. Add the shallots or onions to the pan and sauté for two or three minutes.
  9. Add the wine and the beef broth and cook until it's reduced to ½ cup or so, which should take five to seven minutes. Scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon as the wine is cooking.
  10. Add the steaks to the broth mixture and simmer for 4-6 minutes depending on how well done you want them. Watch them closely if you're cooking with grass fed steaks since they require 30% less cooking time due to their lack of fat.
  11. Plate the steaks.  Whisk in the butter a slice at a time to the remaining sauce and and continue stirring until all the butter is melted.
  12. Drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.

The Extra Touch: Stir in two tablespoons of heavy cream at the very end, just before drizzling the sauce over the steaks. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

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