If you ever put in a full day of physical work, you certainly understand the feeling at the end of the day where you’re hungry. For meat. For peppercorn steak. In these moments, nothing but red meat will do for me and this is my go-to steak recipe. A cast-iron skillet is a must and gives the most wonderful peppery crust on the outside of the steak. The sour cream can be substituted with creme fraiche for a more subtle sauce.
Peppercorn Steak with Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 steaks (about ½ pound each), at room temperature
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup whiskey or cognac
½ cup chicken stock, beef stock, or water
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup sour cream
- Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- While the oil heats, pat the steaks dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Be heavy handed with the pepper – zing!
- Carefully lay the steaks down into the hot skillet – you should hear a sizzle as soon as you lay them down. Cook the steaks 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t mess with them too much or flip them back and forth. Instead, allow the steak to get a golden crust on one side before flipping it over and doing the same on the opposite side. Medium-rare serves this recipe best (130˚ internal temperature on a thermometer). When the steaks are done, set them on a platter, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium.
- To the skillet that cooked the steaks, add in the whiskey. Allow it to reduce for 2 minutes, using a whisk to stir it around and loosen up bits of meat and pepper stuck to the skillet.
- Add in the chicken stock. Allow this to reduce for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking all the while. Allow one tablespoon to melt before adding the next. This will help to thicken the sauce.
- Shut off the heat and add in the sour cream. Whisk again to combine. Taste the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a few tablespoons of additional chicken stock until it’s the thickness of your liking.
- To serve, slice the steak into ½” thick strips and drizzle the meat with the sauce. Garnish with black pepper.