Steak Tips au Poivre
Though the name sounds fancy and intimidating, this elegant dish is simple enough for any night of the week.
Why This Recipe Works
This French dish of pepper-coated steak often results in a scorched skillet, underbrowned meat, loose peppercorns, and a lifeless pan sauce. To ensure our version of Steak Tips au Poivre came out perfect, we made sure the pan was very hot before adding the steak tips. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of vegetable oil until the oil smokes. Cooking steaks in a pan that wasn't properly preheated lead to meat that overcooked before developing a good crust. If the fond—the browned bits left in the pan—became too dark, we found we could spread the shallots over the area of the pan that was in trouble. The juices released from the shallots kept the fond from burning. Using unsalted butter for the pan sauce helped regulate saltiness. We seasoned the pan sauce with salt right before serving—doing so before the sauce had reduced resulted in overwhelming saltiness.
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