Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Product of the month. #2 in a series.

I'll do two this month, because I missed July.

The first is this small can of peppercorns. It lurks innocently in the spice section of most supermarkets, where it sells for around three dollars.

These peppercorns have a sustained heat. Not like the fiery blast a very hot chili pepper assaults you with, but more of a sustained slow burn. They don't overpower your cooking but you still feel the heat hours later.

Pepper steak.

Or steak au poivre if you like to affect Frenchisms at the table. I have posted this recipe once or twice in the almost six years I have been writing this online diary, but 'search' is being recalcitrant today and won't find it for me.

Take two steaks, some cream, a can of Moulin peppercorns and a bottle of cognac or brandy.

Heat your heavy duty cast iron frypan. Oil the steaks, throw them in and sear them. Ask everyone how they like their steak first and stagger the cooking accordingly. This is tricky. Why can't everyone eat steak rare, like me?

Now ignite the steaks. (Or flambe, see previous note on French words.) Pour on some cognac or brandy (not from the bottle) and tilt the pan to ignite the alcohol.

This is trial and error. Too little and nothing happens; too much and you need new kitchen curtains. When flames die down, throw in the peppercorns with their fluid. This will evaporate slowly. Remove steaks to plates. Add a good tablespoonful of more of cream to remaining fluid and peppercorns in pan on high heat to reduce. Pour pepper sauce over steaks.

Serve with creamed spinach and garlic mash, or good quality fries, remembering to extinguish the curtains.


Melbourne Girl said...


I haven't made a pepper sauce for ages, but that's about to change.

I love a good pepper sauce with steak, as well as the creamed spinach and fries.

Double yum.


kitchen hand said...

And it works as well with sauteed chicken breast, Lesley.