Home Food DigiBites: What Do Chefs Eat When They’re Celebrating At Home?

DigiBites: What Do Chefs Eat When They’re Celebrating At Home?

Epicurean Exchange

Happy New Year News24/680 Foodie followers!
I hope you enjoyed a quiet, at-home evening last night. New Year’s Eve dinners are usually decadent, surf and turf affairs. My wife and I cooked together and enjoyed one of our favorite dishes – Steak au Poivre (with, yes, lobster tail). 

Chef Charlie

This classic recipe has a number of variations. But in the end, quality ingredients make all the difference: great meats (either filet or New York strip); fresh whole black peppercorns, organic unsalted butter, tangy smooth Dijon, and organic, locally-produced heavy cream.

Beyond the ingredients, the success of this dish is the proper doneness of the steaks. Proper = how you and your guests prefer them done. To ensure proper doneness, you need to go by internal temperature. Steaks are different sizes; ovens can be differing temperatures, and human error is inevitable (especially if you are cooking 4 steaks to be finished differently).

The Essentials. Photo: Epicurean Exchange

The solution: an insta-read thermometer. Working with the 2-inch thick filets, after you have seared the steaks (4 minutes per side), the internal temperatures will be approximately 80˚F – 100˚F. Generally speaking, I suggest 6 – 8 minutes in the 400˚F oven to reach 145˚F (rare); 8 – 10 minutes to reach 150˚F (medium rare), and 10 – 12 minutes for 160˚F (medium). Once the desired temperatures are reached, immediately remove the steaks from the oven, place on a warm plate and tent (loose, don’t seal) with foil. Any delay, or leaving the steaks on a hot sheet pan, will cause the steaks to be overdone. So be prepared to move quickly!

We still have some evenings free for celebrating before the new year really kicks in. I hope you have time to prepare this dish.

To all of our followers, wishing you a safe, healthy and happier 2021!
– Chef Charlie

Steak au Poivre
(Pepper Steak in Brandy-Cream Sauce)

4 – 8 to 10-ounce Filet Mignon steaks, approximately 2-inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

1/4 cup (or more to taste) coarsely cracked (in a mortar and pestle) of black or a mixture of several kinds of peppercorns
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3/4 cup beef stock
1/3 cup cognac
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (preferred brands Maille Original or Edmond Fallot)
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley, plus more for garnish

•  Pre-heat an oven to 400˚F.

•  Coat the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle all sides with kosher salt. Press a generous amount of the cracked pepper into the surfaces of the meat. Let the steaks rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

•  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks, and sear for about 4 minutes per side. The meat should be well-caramelized. Remove steaks from the pan; transfer to a sheet pan, and place in the pre-heated oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.

•  Meanwhile, in the same pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the the shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the beef stock and brandy and with a wooden spatula, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the heavy cream and Dijon mustard, and simmer the sauce over medium heat until it thickens. Season the sauce, if necessary, with kosher salt and add the minced parsley.

•  Return to the oven and check the internal temperature of the steaks: 145˚F for rare, 150˚F for medium-rare, 160˚F for medium. When the desired doneness is reached, immediately remove the steaks from the oven and transfer to a platter. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 8 – 10 minutes.

•  To serve, bring sauce to simmer. Place the steaks in the pan with the sauce; turn a few times and baste to coat and warm through. Remove steaks to a serving platter or individual plates; drape with a generous spoon of the sauce, and offer the remaining sauce on the side. Garnish steaks with a sprinkle of minced parsley.

Serves 4

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  1. We’ve really enjoyed your recipes and obvious love of cooking and food. My husband and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Are you self taught or did you go to cooking school?

  2. Yeh quiet night for us too. Prime rib with a mushroom bisque — roast potatoes. A good wine, no champagne. Strange not going out like we used to but it was fun cooking for 2 and staying in with a good movie for a change. Must be getting old.

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