Steak Au Poivre with Pommes Frites and Aïoli
This is a newer take on a classic brasserie dish. After Stay Classy sent me a sample of their New York strips, I knew this would be the ultimate way to showcase the transcendent Montana beef. The classic “Sauce au Poivre” uses a mix of milder peppercorns. In this iteration, we’re using Szechuan peppercorns, which adds another dimension when it comes to flavor and texture. In addition, we’re taking some inspiration from Chef David Chang’s “Pepper Sauce” by using soy sauce in this recipe. If you can’t find Szechuan peppercorns, black pepper will work just fine. Remember, recipes are just a guide. Be creative and have fun with Stay Classy’s superior products.
2 ea. Montana Beef New York Strip Steaks, room temperature
4 ea. Kennebec or Russet potatoes, cut lengthwise in 1” x 1” french fries
18 ea. Garlic Cloves
3 ea. Egg yolks
3 Tablespoons. Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons. Fresh Lemon Juice
16 oz. Blended oil (canola/olive)
16 oz. Vegetable oil, for frying
8 oz. Heavy Cream
8 oz. Rye whiskey
4 Tablespoons. Szechuan Peppercorns, coarse ground
2 Tablespoons. Juniper Berries, lightly chopped
2 ea. Shallots, brunoise or minced
½ Cup. Fines Herb (Tarragon, Chive, Chervil, Parsely) fine chopped
2 oz. Soy Sauce
2 oz. Worchester Sauce
4 oz. Beef Stock
Small Bunch, Watercress
2 Tablespoons, Butter
4 Springs, thyme
Olive oil for searing steaks
2 Tablespoon of sherry vinegar, for garnish
Large Cast Iron Skillet
Small Sauce Pan
Large Sauce Pan
Large Mixing Bowl
Large Spoon For Basting
Sharp Chef Knife
Thermometer that reaches at least 400 degrees
Resting rack and pan
Begin by blanching your frites in your vegetable oil. In a large sauce pan, bring your fry oil to 275 degrees and blache the frites until they appear like rough leather. 8-10 minutes. Remove the frites from the oil, drain and let the frites cool and reserve. Keep the oil on the back burner as you will need it to finish the frites.
Make the Aïloi. Add 16 of the garlic cloves to the 16 ounces of blended oil. Simmer garlic in oil until garlic is a light golden shade and fragrant, about 12 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE GARLIC!!! Strain and cool oil, reserve garlic. Next, in the bowl of a blender add the egg yolks and salt, blend. While the eggs are blending add a dash of water until the eggs appear slightly foamy, add the dijon and drizzle in the oil until a thick mayonnaise reveals itself. Add the garlic (room temperature) and continue to blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and s&p to taste. Place in a squeeze bottle and reserve.
In a small saucepan, reduce the heavy cream by half over low heat. Keep an eye on the cream as it has a tendency to boil over when it gets too hot. Keep warm.
Prepare the Steaks. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Add olive oil to the hot pan and sear the steaks for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat by half and repeat the last step. Reduce heat to low, add the butter, 2 garlic cloves(smashed) and thyme. Baste the steaks on each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove the steaks from the pan and rest on a resting rack for 6-8 minutes. Pour the excess butter, garlic and thyme over the steaks while resting. Wipe out the cast Iron pan and return it to medium heat on the stove.
Reheat the frites cooking oil to 375 degrees.
Prepare the Sauce. In the cast iron skillet, add a couple drops of olive oil, the peppercorns and juniper berries. When the peppercorns appear to be golden and fragrant, add the whiskey and turn the heat up to high. THERE WILL BE FIRE! Don’t be alarmed. Once the whiskey catches on fire, reduce the heat back to medium and cook until the flame disappears and the alcohol is cooked out of the pan. Add in the soy, worcester and beef stock. Reduce over medium heat until the entire sauce appears glossy. 2-3 minutes. Add in the reduced, warm cream. ( the cream must be warm to hot for this, otherwise, it will curdle and all is lost) Whisk the sauce together and add in a pinch of fines herb, shallots and salt to taste. Reserve.
Fry the Frites. Drop your frites into the 375 degree oil for 45 seconds to 1 minute until crispy. Remove the Frites from the oil and drain the excess oil. In a large mixing bowl, toss the frites with the remaining fines herb and season with salt.
Assemble the dish. On your favorite plates; Smother the steaks in sauce. At the leaner end of steak, pile on the frites and squeeze aïoli on top, like a 6 year old applying sunscreen. Garnish with cress, sherry vinegar and Evoo. Enjoy with a light red wine or stout.