Green Peppercorn and Porcini Sauce
I had once, in HK, the privilege of a private dinner cooked in my neighbour's flat by Francois Latapie, Director of Operations for NYC's Bistro Bagatelle. He prepared a simple yet flawless and unforgettable dinner including steak au poivre. The next day most of those present rushed out to hunt down the elusive green peppercorn, the key ingredient in any self-respecting pepper sauce. While I can't claim to have matched his finesse, I have had about 7 stabs at it since then and frankly this was the only one worth writing about!
It's relatively simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time & reheated so you don't have to worry about buggering up your steak cooking times, and it is gluten-free. We poured it over grass-fed ribeye steaks and sauteed potatoes...
What you need:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoons green peppercorns (sold at Great Food Hall)
1 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1/2 cup beef stock
1/8 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons Brandy/Cognac/Mushroom
1 teaspoon onion salt
3 teaspoons corn starch
Serve with steak, sauteed potatoes and French beans.
Place your porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover them with 1/2 cup boiling water. Allow them soften to while you prepare the rest.
Put your green peppercorns on a chopping board, and using the back of your spoon, smash them. It's quite a satisfying activity, a bit like popping bubblewrap!
Melt your butter in a pan, then add the green peppercorns and cracked black pepper, stirring for around 30 seconds.
Add the wine, Brandy and beef stock and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove your porcini mushroom from the water they are in, and pour that water into the pan too. Chop your porcini finely then add them.
Add your cream and allow the sauce to simmer gently for another 5 minutes.
Place your onion salt with the corn starch into a bowl and add 3-4 teaspoons of water until the corn starch is mixed through properly. Then whisk it into the pan.
Salt to taste. Pour immediately over steak or let it sit until you need it. Or wait until it cool and refrigerate for a couple of days.
Serves 2-3 adults