Though we are only days into October, temperatures are on a steady decline and the thought that this is only the start of a long winter has sent me running into the kitchen for some old-fashioned, home-cooked warmth. I fired up all four burners for this meal! It looks deceivingly complicated but in actuality, the only difficulty I experienced was in coordinating cooking times so that I could enjoy it all while it was still hot!
To prepare the steak, let it come to room temperature in order to encourage even cooking (remove from refrigerator one hour prior to cooking). Before dressing the steak, pat it dry to remove excess water (the better to sear with). Next, apply salt generously to both sides of the steak and rub one side with a small amount of oil. Place the oiled side of the steak into a hot, dry pan. Immediately lower the heat and let the steak cook for approximately seven minutes. Rub a small amount of oil into the exposed side of the steak and then flip and let cook for a further three – four minutes. Remove from the pan and let rest – preferably in the comfort of butter – while you prepare the peppercorn cream sauce.
Once the steak has been removed from the pan, melt a tablespoon of butter in the same pan at a low heat (we do not want to burn the butter). Add two tablespoons of flour and mix well to create a roux (it may appear to be sticky or clump together). Add approximately one cup of beef broth to the pan (this can be prepared prior to cooking the steak) and stir until the roux has dissolved and the broth has taken on a thicker consistency. Add one cup of heavy cream and stir until the liquids have mixed. Add crushed peppercorns, whole peppercorns, black peppercorns, white peppercorns, green peppercorns, etc. to your heart’s content – I average about two tablespoons of crushed black peppercorns and a finely ground pepper variety – and incorporate into the sauce. Cook the sauce down to your preferred thickness.
The dough for the croquettes is easy to prepare in advance of the meal and can be left to stiffen in the refrigerator. Start by peeling and boiling six medium-sized potatoes (to yield approximately two cups of mashed potatoes). When they are tender, remove them and prepare to mash! Once the mashed potatoes have cooled (approximately twenty minutes), add a half cup of grated parmesan cheese and a quarter cup of finely chopped scallions. Incorporate the ingredients into the potato and then add salt and pepper to taste. Follow this by adding one whole egg to the mixture which will transform a rather stiff dough into a less resilient, wet dough. I suggest refrigerating the dough for a minimum of a half hour before handing (here is where you can take the steak out of the refrigerator).
The next step is shaping the dough into individual logs. I find that if I wet my hands, the dough is very easy to handle and leaves behind minimal residue. Shape the dough into small logs and refrigerate. The final stage before frying the croquettes, is schnitzel-ing them and by this I mean dipping them in an egg batter (one beaten egg) followed by breadcrumbs (no flour necessary) and then dropping them directly into a pan on medium-heat with a generous amount of oil. The croquettes can be left to cook for four – six minutes on each side or until they are crispy and golden brown (this can be done while the steak is resting and the peppercorn cream sauce is reducing). Remove excess oil by blotting the fresh croquettes before arranging them on the plate.
Dinner is served!
post peppercorn cream sauce bath
Warning: This meal may impair your ability to operate heavy machinery.