Monday, November 7, 2016

Pan-fried Steak a la Pépin

This dish is based on an old Jacques Pépin recipe I've been using for a long time now, it's our go-to when grilling outside is not feasible for one reason or another. Typically we pair it with a baked potato and add a veggie like broccoli. It's very good and since I almost always use a grass-fed rib-eye cut, takes very little time to cook. I learned quite a while ago to take grass-fed off the heat earlier than I would grain-fed as it can dry out much quicker. Since learning that, though, I much prefer it as it has a much 'beefier' flavor and apparently has much more omega3s which I guess is a good thing.
For this dish I used a couple of nice looking rib-eyes from Stemple Creek Ranch which is sold in Berkeley Bowl. Not cheap but man they were good! Also I used a cast-iron pan which, IMO, is the only kind to use for an indoor steak.

2 rib-eye cut steaks, preferablye grass-fed and finished
Kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons Bourbon, Cognac, or good brandy
1/2 cup homemade stock - beef or chicken

Bring the steaks out of frig to warm up a bit to room temperature about 30-60 minutes before cooking. Cut each into equal sizes halves then salt and pepper the steaks generously.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Once it is hot, add the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Place the steaks into the pan and leave them to cook for 2 minutes without disturbing them. Carefully turn each steak over and allow to continue cooking for about 60-90 seconds. Remove steaks to a warm plate, leaving the fat in the pan, and cover them while you make the sauce.
Add the minced shallots to the fat in the pan and cook until soft. At a high heat this should only take about 30-60 seconds. Carefully add the liquor to the hot pan. (If you're nervous about a flame-up, and you probably should be, turn the flame off momentarily - the pan will stay hot enough to continue for a minute or so). Once the liquor has almost evaporated, turn the heat on again if you've turned it off, then add the stock. Once the stock has reduced by half, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to finish the sauce. Remove the pan from heat and pour the sauce over the resting steaks.
Probably best to allow the steaks to rest another few minutes before serving.


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