Bistro-style steak au poivre is easy to achieve at home. Either a bone-in or boneless ribeye would work, and grilling the steak instead of pan-searing, gives it an extra-crunchy peppery crust.
4 Ribeye Steaks
3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup Cognac
1 container Veal Demi-Glace*
1/3 cup heavy cream
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking. Season steaks on all sides with salt.
Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the steaks, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.
Make the sauce: Melt butter in a medium skillet, add shallots and sauté over medium-high heat until translucent and soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of cracked peppercorns. Add cognac. Cook, stirring, until alcohol is cooked off and mixture is reduced. Whisk in demi-glace. Simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 5-6 minutes. Hold over lowest heat while you prepare the steaks.
Heat grill to medium-high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over. Lightly oil hot grates.
Grill steaks for about 6 minutes on the first side. Using tongs, flip each steak to the other side and grill for another 6 minutes, or until desired doneness. We suggest medium-rare, which would register 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Let steaks rest for 5-8 minutes before plating. While steaks are resting, remove sauce from the heat. Stir in heavy cream. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed.Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.
* Demi–glace. Demi–glace (English: “half glaze”) is a rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces. The term comes from the French word glace, which, used in reference to a sauce, means “icing” or “glaze”.