Steak au poivre or pepper steak is a classic French dish that is popular and can easily found on the menu. The most important thing is to get the best quality of beef. A fillet or sirloin from a good breed is preferable. When I was at the supermarket, I couldn’t make up my mind which one I wanted to get as there is a huge difference in price tag. I saw some really nice pieces of Aberdeen Angus beef. In the end, I got myself 2 pieces of British sirloin steaks, which the quality looked just as good, but for the half of the price of a small piece of Aberdeen Angus beef filet! I knew that either one wouldn’t disappoint me that they looked really fresh and were all nicely vacuum packed.
Before I came to the UK, beef wasn’t something that I ate at home. Mom wasn’t brought up eating beef, that explains why it is not something that she cooks at home. However, as I grow up and learn more about other cuisines, I try out beef and also learn about different cuts of beef. Though, I don’t eat it very frequently, when I eat it, I make sure I get the best quality I could. Going to a butcher is one of the best ways to get fresh and high quality of beef. But, when I am too lazy to make a trip, then I will just go to Marks & Spencer – one of the best supermarkets in the UK that source great quality of food. Otherwise, the butcher that I trust and go to is in Clapham called M Moen & Sons.
Other than great quality of beef, the other important ingredient is black peppercorns. I have used a spice grinder to roughly crush the peppercorns. You can use a mortar or pestle or simply use the back of a spoon to crush the peppercorns on a flat surface. The other best part of this dish has to be the sauce that is made from Cognac, white wine and the juice of the beef. Some recipes do call for double cream just to make a bit more sauce. So, it is entirely up to you. I have decided to serve this with some roasted potatoes, green beans and broccoli.