A few weeks ago, Steve and I celebrated ten years since the day we met. Actually, since the night we met. It was a rather inelegant affair, in a dive bar, with a sloppy make out session in the corner. But that’s a story for another time.
After ten years, when we give each other gifts, they often end up being gifts for both of us. The most common gift we give each other is food. We love to find unique ingredients, strange and exotic edibles, and rare treats that we offer each other in order to then share them. A few years back, he gave me a can of green peppercorns for Christmas. I had never heard of them before and I was a little skeptical at first. I’ve never been a big black pepper fan. And I absolutely despise pink peppercorns.
So, I did an online search for recipes and found this recipe for a filet mignon with a green peppercorn cream sauce. It’s a pretty standard recipe for steak with a pepper cream sauce, except that instead of ground black peppercorns, it uses tender green ones. It turned out to be such a fantastic recipe, I’ve been making it for years.
Filet Mignon with Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce – From Epicurious.com
Note: The can has a lot more green peppercorns than you’ll need. What I do with the left over peppercorns is rinse them of their brine and put them in a small bowl. I add distilled white vinegar to cover them, I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and I put them in the fridge. I find that they stay good for several weeks that way.
1 3/4 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
3 tablespoons butter
4 6- to 8-ounce filet mignon steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
2 tablespoons drained green peppercorns in brine
Boil stock in small saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plate (do not clean skillet).
Add chopped shallots to same skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add reduced beef stock, 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons Cognac and green peppercorns. Boil until mixture thickens to sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Season sauce to taste with pepper. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve.