FFWD – Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

When I was young, one of my favourite things to order at a restaurant was a steak sandwich, which meant my steak came out on top of a piece of garlic bread. I couldn’t understand why anyone would order it differently, because the garlic bread was perfectly positioned to soak up all the juices. It was hard for me to decide which part of my meal I liked best – the medium-rare steak or the juice-soaked garlic bread. (I appreciated the baked potato, but it was definitely out of the running.) At home, my mother would pile steaks onto a platter, with a plate stacked with brown bread beside it. After everyone chose their steak, we’d all grab a piece of bread and try to soak up as much of the juices as possible. You may detect a pattern here.

I’m a fan of medium-rare, juicy steak and I don’t want it accompanied by anything that will detract from these qualities. A steak needs to be well-seasoned, of course, but beyond that I just want it grilled/fried/broiled to perfection. Which means that I’ve generally left sauces to other cuts of meat.

Along comes this week’s French Fridays recipe – a pepper steak, with a cognac cream sauce. Have I mentioned that this cooking group often challenges our food habits and preferences? As it turns out, this is rarely a bad thing. The steak (filet mignon, if you please) is prepared simply enough, dressed with crushed peppercorns and fried at high heat. Once the steak is done, the pan is deglazed with cognac and heavy cream is added to create the sauce.

When the sauce is done, the dish must be served immediately, which isn’t a problem because the aroma makes you want to get on with things quite quickly. The sauce adds richness to the steak, without masking its flavour or overwhelming the juices.

Our side dishes were Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccoli and another Dorie recipe, broth-braised potatoes. They were wonderful complements to the steak; most importantly, the potatoes soaked up the juices of the steak and the cognac cream beautifully. We’ll be having this again soon, as I have some lovely elk steaks in the freezer.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak


41 thoughts on “FFWD – Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

    1. I have a hard time looking at this post and not wanting to run right back in the kitchen to make some more! Luckily, I don’t usually have steak on hand…

  1. I feel we should high-five. I also made the broth-braised potatoes, but chose the lime (actually lemon) steamed spinach. Your sauce and steak look so scrumptious!

  2. Wow, that looks fantastic. I’m sorry I passed up on this weeks recipe, but looking
    at yours, I think I am definitely going to try this very soon. Tricia went with this
    week’s dish, and they all loved it at her house. Great photos too.

  3. I loved this sauce, too! It was such a great dish and yours looks fabulous. There’s nothing better then steak and potatoes in my husbands mind!! I will also be making this again!

  4. Ah – another multi-colored peppercorn user. Yeah! I love the nuances of different peppercorns.
    I am sure the elk steaks will do very nicely with this treatment.

  5. I always enjoy your posts. You have a writing talent that re-creates the foods, and with your wonderful photos, your post is almost as good as the meal.

    1. Thanks, Krissy – that’s really sweet. I’m so glad you enjoy my posts. I love seeing your posts, too. It’s such a great community we’re building with FFwD.

  6. I liked your description of ordering a steak on toasted garlic bread, I personally can’t think of a better use for bread. Your cognac cream sauce looks perfect on top of the pepper steak. I will definitely make this recipe again, it’s a winner;-)

    1. Thanks. Patty – it’s still one of my favourite things. I’m definitely making this again, too.

    1. Thanks, Sanya! Just writing these replies is making me want to plan to make it again VERY soon.

  7. You did a really lovely job with this challenge. I would have loved to join you for that meal. This is my first visit to your blog and I’ve been exploring. You’ve created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    1. Thanks, Mary – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog, too.

  8. I love my steak rare and juicy, too! I wouldn’t have thought to put the sauce on myself, but glad I did-delicious! Your steak looks divine!

  9. Gorgeous process photos…makes me want to do it all again now. We loved, loved, loved this, and I do believe, yes, I do, that I can find other uses for that sauce as well. This was a definite keeper. Loved your steak juice memories.

    1. Thanks very much, Kayte – the sauce is so fast and good, I’m sure it would go well with a number of dishes.

    1. Thanks, Trevor. You must try the potatoes, they’re easy and very good. I saved the cooking broth and added it to a soup – much better than bouillon.

  10. Your sauce is gorgeous. It looks perfectly thick. Nice work!
    I can’t wait to hear what you do with your elk steaks.

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