- Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder. Tip the pepper into a sieve over a bowl and shake well to remove all the powdered pepper (you can use this for other seasoning). Alternatively, use pre-crushed peppercorns.
- Press the peppercorns onto both sides of the steaks, and place on a tray.
- Heat the oil in a thick bottom frying pan, which is big enough to hold all the steaks without crowding. Once hot, fry the steaks for two minutes until a crust is formed, then turn and cook for a further two minutes (but don’t have the heat too high or you risk burning the pepper). If you require your meat more well-done, turn the steaks again – but resist turning too often.
- Remove the steaks to a warm tray or plate and keep warm in a very low oven (around 50ºC) to rest. Add the butter to the frying pan and allow to colour to a nut brown, then add the brandy (and be careful if you are near curtains or your valuable vent above the cooker in case it ignites!). Boil the brandy, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the cream, meat glace or stock if using, and bring back to the boil.
- Place the steaks on warm plates and add any juices from the steaks to the sauce; strain if you wish, and pour over the steaks. Serve with whatever you fancy – chips or potatoes and seasonal veg works well.
Bryan Webb’s Welsh Beef steak “au poivre”
- Prep time 20 mins
- Cook time 15 mins
- Serves 2