These classic steak au poivre are lightened up and beyond tasty! The Brandy sauce turns them into something memorable for any special occasion. Thank you to QSquared NYC for helping me to share this recipe with you.
It may have been almost 20 years ago, but I remember that night like it was last week. It was July 4th and I had moved to New York City just one month before. The heat and humidity that summer was stifling and Steve (then boyfriend, now husband) and I moved between air-conditioned coffee houses and restaurants to keep cool.
For dinner, we ducked into our favorite casual French restaurant in SOHO. The escapes me, but the warm lighting, steak au poivre and steak frites sit comfortably in my memory.
But it's not the ambiance or steak au poivre, but rather what happened afterwards, that stays in my mind. A dimly lit bar, a glass of wine...all leading to that moment when we told each other for the first time that we loved each other. It didn't matter that we had been dating for just a few weeks...we just knew.
This meal takes me right back to those days. Steak au poivre is typically made with filet mignon, but I opted for cheaper rib eyes in this recipe. We don't eat a lot of red meat and I'm not sure that our stomachs could take a larger, thicker portion. Besides, the rib eyes were on sale at the supermarket. Bonus!
For the sauce, the traditional ingredients are Cognac and heavy cream. But you know me - I like to keep things light, so I opted for a splash of half-and-half instead of the cream. I considered using fat-free half-and-half until I realized that it contains corn syrup. So, even if this isn't the healthiest meal to eat on a regular basis, life is about moderation and this is great for an indulgence once in a while.
Cognac is a type of brandy that meets certain regulatory requirements, such as being made from certain grapes grown in the region of Cognac and being aged in specific French oak barrels. There is a taste (and price!) difference between the two, but brandy will work well in this recipe.
Look at me, saving you money all over the place!
I served the steaks on our beautiful QSquared NYC plates. The colors and pattern of their new Talavera Collection are stunning. The steaks were made to be sitting on these vibrant plates! And that's very good news, so I plan to use these BPA-free melamine plates (that's right...unbreakable!) plenty of times during the summer when we're grilling. Their other new collections, Hampton Toile and Cambridge Rose would be great for entertaining, too.
Since you will be adding alcohol to a very hot pan, be sure to remove the pan from the heat source when pouring in the brandy. Nothing ruins a meal more than singed eyebrows or a kitchen fire.
The sauce comes together in a flash, so be sure that the rest of your meal is ready before making the sauce. Otherwise, the sauce will start to thicken (and not in a good way) in the pan.
This recipe is for two – think Valentine’s Day or an anniversary – but can easily be doubled.
If you want to learn more about QSquared NYC and see some of their amazing collections of dishes (plenty of different patterns), check out their site, or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
Other healthy romantic dishes:
Light(er) Steak au Poivre with Brandy Sauce
- Place the steaks on a cutting board and press ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the crushed peppercorns into the steak (on both sides).
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the steaks and cook until done to the desired degree, about 2 minutes per side for rare.
- Transfer the steaks to a cut board and let rest.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet. Saute the shallots for 30 seconds.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the Brandy. Return the skillet to the burner and whisk in the half-and-half.
- Whisk until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
- Serve the steaks with the sauce and garnish with parsley.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the good people at QSquared NYC. All opinions are my own.