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Hello! I'm Deirdre and I'm a stay at home mom to two boys. Cooking for a 6 and 4 year old- day in and day out can be the best job in the world, also the most frustrating. Trying to create not only kid friendly but husband and mom friendly meals is a challenge that I've readily accepted! My Foodie Mom blog is a record of the different recipes that I've tried in the kitchen, pictures of my ventures, and cool tricks I've picked up along the way. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peppered Steak and Shrimp With Cognac Cream Sauce

Recently, we placed an order to Omaha Steaks for some good quality meat to make some really nice meals with. If you're not familiar with this, basically you can go on this website and order some fantastic (and a little pricey) meats. They mail them to you frozen and pack the cooler with dry ice to keep it frozen and fresh. It's pretty awesome. 

Part of our order was 4 (4oz) filet mignons. They have just been taunting us from the freezer, begging to be cooked. Mike already had it set in his mind exactly what he wanted to do with them, and last night was the night. I fed the kids a special meal just for them a little earlier, and once they went to bed Daddy cooked dinner for us. What's better than having your husband cook for you while you relax and watch The Bachelor? It was simply amazing. I was so proud (and happy I wasn't cooking dinner for a change).

He pretty much followed the recipe from Alton Brown for Steak Au Poivre, only making a few tiny adjustments. He also sautéed some large shrimp to go with the filets to make it surf n turf (my idea of course). Steak and shrimp were served over some crostinis with a salad on the side. 


  • 4 steaks ( we used 4 oz filet mignons, and had 2 each - this recipe should serve 4 though we were just gluttonous)
  • 6 large shrimps (shelled and deveined) 
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns (coarsely crushed with a mallet or bottom of a skillet)
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cognac plus 1 teaspoon (we used Hennessy)
For Crostinis:
  • baguette cut in small slices
  • olive oil
Remove the steaks from the fridge about a half an hour prior to cooking, to bring it to room temp. Sprinkle all sides with salt. Spread the crushed peppercorns on a plate and press the steaks on both sides into the pepper until coated. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil. As soon as it starts to turn golden gently place steaks into the pan. We cooked ours to medium- rare so this was 4 minutes on each side. Increase the time for the desired amount of doneness you're trying to achieve. Once done, remove the steaks place on a plate and tent it with tinfoil.

Drain the access fat out of the pan, but do not wipe it clean. Do not return the pan to the burner (this is important that its off the heat, because we will be playing with fire). 

This is a pretty dangerous part- we had never ignited anything in a pan before last night. And it was a little scary, so please don't try to attempt this unless you are confident you can do it and nothing is going to catch fire around you. 

So with the pan off of the heat, add the cognac to the pan and ignite with a long match or we used a wooden skewer (for kabobs). Gently shake the pan until the fire dies.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of cognac and season with salt to taste. During this time you can season the shrimp with a little salt and pepper and in a separate small pan sautee in a little olive oil until its pink and cooked through.

Place steak and shrimp on the crostinis (see below), and spoon the sauce over it. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

To make the crostinis, place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet and brush them with a little olive oil and bake at 250 until golden brown. You can do this while you are preparing the rest of the meal, just keep an eye on it to make sure they don't burn.

I know this looks like a lot, but it truly was a really simple recipe. This was all made in about 30 minutes, maybe less. It really pays to use pricier ingredients every once in a while. This was for sure a splurge for us. Between the filets, shrimp, bottle of cognac and fresh baguette- it was more than I would normally spend on a meal cooked at home. However, so totally worth it. To be able to cook ( or have cooked for you in my case) a fantastic restaurant quality meal in your own home, and enjoy it with someone special priceless. Cheers!

Below is the video of us doing the cognac sauce, note the huge flames and the smoke detector going off. Excuse the language. Be careful trying this at home!

Adapted from: Steak au Piovre

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