Try and take your steaks out of the refrigerator 1 hour before you cook them. This makes cooking times more accurate. If you do cook it fridge cold, you will need to cook the steaks longer.
We don't have steaks too often as the price of beef in Sydney's East is ridiculously expensive, but when I do, I love scotch fillet the best, but this will go with any steak you love. There are wholesalers I go to near by, which are open on Saturdays to the public, or I drive an hour out to see my parents and shop out west, the prices are so much more affordable where they live.
You can make this sauce and serve it with a barbecued steak. However, I do like to cook at least one steak in the pan, as the searing of the meat is where the flavour base starts.
I use brined green peppercorns as I love the flavour they give, but I've seen recipes where they crush black peppercorns instead.
As I'm cooking beef, I like to use a beef stock, but you can use chicken stock if you like.
I love it with a green salad, but it is also perfect with creamy potatoes or hot chips, or green beans or broccolini, whatever you like to have with steak.
A simple, fast but really tasty meal. You should try it.
For the beef:
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
4 x 200g (approx 800g) beef scotch fillet
freshly ground pepper
For the Green Peppercorn Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) brandy or cognac
250 ml (1 cup) beef or chicken stock
200 ml thickened cream
3–4 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine, drained (or more, to taste)
3 teaspoons cornflour
parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or French fries.
If you have time, take the steaks out of the refrigerator 1 hour before you will cook them.
Brush the steaks with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan (which can fit all of the pieces of beef comfortably) over high heat, when hot, add the steaks, cook for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare (cook each side longer if you prefer). Remove the beef to a plate and set aside. Cover loosely with aluminium foil while you prepare the sauce, they do continue cooking while they are resting, so don't overcook them.
Turn the heat down and add the butter and shallots. Use a wooden spoon to try and scrape any caramelised bits from the pan. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add the brandy or cognac and let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes.
Add the stock, cream, and green peppercorns. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with a little water. To thicken the sauce, pour some of the cornflour mixture into the sauce and quickly mix it in with a spoon. Add more cornflour mixture as necessary until the sauce has thickened to your liking. If you have thickened it too much, just add more water (or stock) to thin it out. Add parsley, stir it through.
Taste the sauce for seasoning. Return the pieces of beef to the pan and reheat them briefly in the sauce.
Serve with a green salad, steamed greens, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes or French fries.
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