Valentine Steak au Poivre with Cabernet Pan Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 each (6-8 ounce)  New York strip steaks, 3/4 inch thick, patted dry or 4 sirloin steaks, 3/4 inch thick, patted dry
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for the pan
  • 1 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter, sliced
 
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Sprinkle the steaks with salt on both sides, and then press the ground peppercorns into the steaks on both sides.
  3. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film.
  4. When the oil is very hot, add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
  5. Flip the meat over and put the skillet in the oven.
  6. For medium-rare steaks, roast for 3 minutes for 6-ounce steaks; 4 minutes for 8-ounce steaks.
  7. Check for doneness with the tip of a knife or by pressing with your fingertips, keeping in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they sit.
  8. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent with foil.
  9. Put the skillet back on the burner and heat to medium high.
  10. Add the wine and cook until it's reduced to 1/4 cup, about 7 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. REMOVE PAN FROM THE HEAT.
  11. Whisk in the butter a slice at a time, whisking until completely melted.
  12. Taste and adjust the seasonings, drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.
Variations: add shallots to the pan sauce, finish with chopped parsley, or substitute 4 tbl cognac and 1/2 cup dark stock in place of the wine. You can also substitute 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup cognac for the wine- reduce slightly to thicken.
 

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