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Au Poivre on the Fly during Dinner Rush. How could it have been better?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Older lady kindly asked for her flat iron to be au poivre, never been on the menu mind you, but agreed to make it. Admittedly I have never made the sauce before I gave it a go from memory from a text book. Seared the crusted steaks (unsalted) in a pan, transferred to sizzler and finished in oven. Add a little bit of oil to pan and added shallots and thyme and sauteed, flamed with cognac, added veal stock and cream and reduced. Strained through chinois and served on the side.

 

It looked good but tasted a little bitter. It didn't have that creamy color I've seen before, it was darker. What went wrong?

 

Culprits???

The fond on the pan was quite heavy with seared peppercorns, too much?

The flame up from cognac added additional char taste? About 1 oz worth of cognac was used.

The veal stock wasn't the best? It's usually made decently.

Should have used cream only (no stock) to round out the taste?

A combination or all of the above?

post #2 of 5

The pan was likely the culprit, you might have burned the pepper.

I have not made this since the 80's with a few exceptions, but we always used green peppercorns, shallots, brandy, cream, demi & a knob of butter at the end to finish after reducing the pan sauce.

post #3 of 5

ok, this is going to sound funny in a way, but here it goes.. about three years ago I attended the Martha Stewart show, and the special recipe for the day was steak au poivre. Instead of veal stock she used d'artagnan demi glace, which everyone in the audience got as a free gift. The studio smelled amazing while they were cooking it. Came home, did it the same way and it was delicious. So I say the demi would make a world of difference, but the bitterness could be you overcooked the pepper and or possibly the shallots?

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. The shallots were not overcooked/burned, I think the peppercorns on the bottom of the pan got burnt making it bitter. Just curious is using demi glace the classic way of making au poivre?
 

post #5 of 5

I think you are right about the peppercorns getting scorched. As to the classical way, there isn't really one and you will get lots of different opinions. Some with no stock or demi just cream, some with stock and cream, some with demi and cream, and even some with stock but no cream.

 

As an old school saute guy, I have done more au poivre than I care to remember. The first time I made one was as a special request and I just winged it. The guest loved it so any time it came up again I made it the same way. I have since done it to favorable reviews in at least 3 different restaurants with it on the menu in some of them. I actually got enough requests from guests for the recipe, that I finally took the time and figured out what it was presactly that I was doing and typed it up. For what it is worth, here it is.

 

Weight or Volume/ Ingredient

1/4 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped

4 tablespoons brandy

1/4 ounce cream cheese

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon worcestershire

4 tablespoons beef stock

1/2 cup manufacturing cream

to taste salt

to taste black pepper

1 teaspoon butter

 

Procedure:

Saute garlic lightly. deglaze with brandy. Add cream cheese, mustard,

balsamic, soy, worcestershire, stock,  and cream. Bring to boil and reduce until thickened. Remove from heat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Whisk in butter.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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