I’ve read about it numerous times, but when push came to shove I always fell victim to my poor planning and the beef in my fridge would begin calling to my hungry belly and instant gratification would win out over the abstract idea of perfect and uniformly roasted meat.
But let me tell you, after finally attempting this method I’m not sure I will ever go back. And that is a bold statement from this 2 year old living in a 29 year old’s body.
So what is reverse searing? If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a low and slow roasting method until your beef achieves a very specific internal temperature. Unlike the standard sear-then-pop-into-oven method for cooking beef at home, you actually roast then sear the steak as fast as possible in a very hot frying pan, and voila! Steak-y perfection.
The resulting steak is near perfectly pink throughout the entire cut (none of the grayed exterior that comes from too-long of a sear), and delightfully tender and juicy. The only method that’s really comparable is the sous vide method, where you immerse a vacuum-sealed steak in a water bath to bring the entire piece of meat to the perfect uniform temperature and then do a quick sear for crusty flavor.
Sadly sous vide machines are not in The Gourmet Gourmand’s budget this year (and likely never practical given the fact that my kitchen probably belongs on an episode of Hoarders).
But I’m serious friends, this method is really all you need for sous-vide-like steak-y good eats. Now let’s talk sauce. I made a brandy sauce au poivre for the steak because I was having a moment of weakness and desperately craving Parisian bistro food. The sauce is actually quite easy; it’s essentially a mixture of sauteed onions, thyme, a little mustard, brandy, and cream. Oh and lots and lots of peppercorns. It comes together in less than 10 minutes.
And just for a little foodie trick of the trade- dijon mustard is one of my secret weapons for creating a perfectly balanced savory sauce. You won’t taste that it’s there, but certainly will miss it if it’s gone. It gives a just barely noticeable creamy acidity to a sauce that is mellower and sweeter than vinegar or citrus. Needless to say, it scratches that Umami itch I so often have.
So please excuse me while I dive into my dinner and pretend that I’m an Impressionist painter sipping wine and eating Steak Au Poivre from my favorite local Bistro. And then watch while I crash back to reality as I realize I still haven’t done the dishes…
Reverse Seared Ribeye Au Poivre
- 2 ribeye steaks try to get steaks that approximately the same weight and thickness
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons minced onion may substitute shallot
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole black peppercorn
- 5-6 thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup brandy
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Season steaks with salt and pepper, to taste. Since this is steak au poivre, don't be skimpy with the pepper.
- Place raw steaks on a lipped baking tray fit with a rack.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of one of the steaks.
- Cook until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (medium rare); mine took about 45 minutes.
- Remove to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the sauce
- In a small saucepan melt butter into the olive oil and add the minced onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until onions become lightly golden.
- Add thyme and peppercorns and cook for a minute more. Stir in dijon.
- Turn off heat and add the brandy.
- Return to heat and simmer until consistency thickens to about the texture of cream.
- Then stir in the actual cream.
- Season with salt, to taste and set aside briefly. Remove thyme stems.
- To finish the steaks
- Bring a cast iron pan to high heat with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Sear steaks for 30-45 seconds per side; temperature should be hot enough that it shouldn't need longer than that to create a nice crust.
- Immediately remove and serve steaks with peppercorn sauce spooned over the meat.