Steak au Poivre with Gorgonzola
This recipe makes enough sauce for more steaks, but I like a lot of sauce!
2 6-8 ounce boneless steaks – New York strip, sirloin, or tenderloin will work – between ¾ and 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot or the white parts of two scallions, finely minced
¾ cup beef broth (canned is fine, or use homemade chicken stock if you have it)
¼ cup dry white wine
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
1-2 ounces Gorgonzola or Blue cheese, depending on your taste, at room temperature
Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, season both sides with salt and pepper, and set them aside to warm up a little. Put 1 tablespoon of the peppercorns on a solid cutting board. Using the bottom of a heavy pot, press and roll the peppercorns to coarsely crush them (if your pepper grinder will do this, so much the better!) You’ll want to have enough peppercorns to pretty well cover the steaks on one side, so crush some more if you think you’ll need it.
Spread a little bit of Dijon mustard on the top of each steak, then press the peppercorns onto the mustard. You want them to stick, so go ahead and press them pretty firmly. You want the top mostly covered, a few open spots are fine. Heat one tablespoon of butter and the oil in a small skillet that will hold both steaks. When it’s good and hot, add the steaks, pepper-side down, and cook for about 4 minutes for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steaks and how you like them done). Then turn them carefully and let them cook on the other side. Remove the steaks to a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm. Pour off the fat from the skillet.
Add the last tablespoon of butter to the pan, then the shallot, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the beef broth and white wine, crank up the heat, and boil to reduce by about half, making sure to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the 1/3 cup of cream and reduce by a third or so. Using your fingers or a fork, mash the soft Gorgonzola and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream together to form a smooth paste. Take the pan off the heat, then whisk the paste into the sauce. Taste the sauce for seasoning (remember, the steaks have pepper on them), then put a lovely pool of sauce on each of two serving plates, top with the steaks, and serve immediately.