Delia

Entrecote Steak with Creme Fraiche and Cracked Pepper Sauce

This is a special supper dish for two people celebrating a birthday or anniversary or for those who just want a treat. It needs a good bottle of red wine, and jacket potatoes with a leafy salad would be good accompaniments. I usually make this with a tub of fresh beef stock from the supermarket.


Serves 2

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.

Entrecote Steak with Creme Fraiche and Cracked Pepper Sauce
Ingredients
 2 entrecôte or sirloin steaks weighing about 8 oz (225 g) each, at least 1 inch (2.5cm) thick, removed from the fridge about 1 hour before you need them
 2 rounded tablespoons crème fraîche
 2 level teaspoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
 10 fl oz (275 ml) fresh beef stock
 2 tablespoons Cognac
 1 level teaspoon butter
 1 teaspoon oil
 Maldon sea salt
Equipment
You will also need a solid frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm).

Method

First of all, you need to reduce the stock to half its original volume, so put it in a small saucepan and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, then taste and add some salt if it needs it. Now measure the Cognac into a jug.

When the steaks are at room temperature, season them well with salt, then place the frying pan over a high heat and, when it's really hot, add the butter and oil, which should start to foam immediately. Now drop the steaks into the hot pan and, keeping the heat high, give them 3 minutes on one side for medium or 2 minutes for rare. 

Use a timer and try to leave them alone – no prodding!

Now turn them over and give them another 2 minutes on the other side for medium or 1 minute for rare. 

After that, pour in the Cognac, let it splutter and reduce, and follow it first with the reduced stock and finally the crème fraîche and crushed pepper. Give it all a good stir, then let everything bubble, reduce and amalgamate for about 1 more minute, then serve the steaks on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over.

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