Steak au Poivre Vert

Serves: 4

“I think I’ll pass on the steak with French sauce” said no one ever.

And it’s true!

Home on Friday night after a few days away and hours and hours of driving, Nat absolutely nailed it.

It was warm, the sun was setting and there is champagne on ice, a wonderful baked brie as a starter and the promise of steak with a French sauce, twice-cooked crispy potatoes and pear, parmesan and rocket salad.

What more could anyone want?!

This recipe is classic French bistro and with the crunchy, golden, baby potatoes (if you haven’t invested in an air fryer, make haste), it was as good as you could expect from a French restaurant.

Surprise someone with this dinner and favours will be owed!

Ingredients

5 eye fillet steaks
3 tbsp green peppercorns
1 – 2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brand
2 tbsp dry vermouth or white wine
125ml cream
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Press some peppercorns into both sides of the steaks. Cook the steaks quickly in the butter over high heat.
  2. Flame the steaks with the brandy and remove; set aside to rest. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth or wine.
  3. Crush the remaining peppercorns into the cream Add to the pan and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Dijon Cream

Chicken, seafood or even an eye fillet, Dijon Cream is easy and makes it seem like you have made a bit more effort than just, well, an eye fillet.

Ingredients

2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 – 4 tbsp thickened cream
Salt and pepper

Method

  • Combine.
  • Enjoy.

Rick Stein’s Escalopes of Salmon with a Champagne and Chive sauce

Serves: 4

Got you at Champagne right?

Classic Rick Stein at his best, Nat and I served this at a lunch with our parents and it was a homerun; ditto the meeting of parents.

Apart from the delicacy and taste of this recipe, best is that you can make most of the sauce in advance, giving plenty of opportunity to fend off the continual barrage of humiliating stories being gleefully shot across your bows by parents:

“I remember when Robert wrote off a car…”

“Ha, that’s nothing, I remember when Natalie wrote of a yacht…”

“Tiny compared to when Robert…”

Die.

750gm salmon fillet
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt

Champagne and chive sauce

30g unsalted butter
1 French shallot, finely chopped
100ml champagne + 1tbsp
600ml fish stock
½ tsp caster sugar
50ml double cream
2 tsp chopped chives

Method

  1. Cut the salmon fillet into 12 escalopes; slices length ways, around half a centimeter thick. Brush each one with oil, season with a little salt and lay on a slightly oiled tray.
  2. Melt 10gm of the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 1 finely chopped shallot and cook gently without colouring, until soft. Add 100ml of champagne and boil for 2 minutes. Add the fish stock and the sugar and boil rapidly until reduced by three-quarters. Add the double cream, bring back to the boil and then simmer until it has reached a good sauce consistency.
  3. Keep warm (whilst defending your reputation).
  4. Whisk together another 50ml double cream with 1 tbsp champagne and the chives until it forms soft peaks.
  5. When you are ready to serve, pre-heat the grill to high and bring the sauce back to the boil, whisk in 20gm butter, then the whipped cream mixture.
  6. Grill (or pan fry) the salmon for 30 seconds per side until just firm.
  7. Overlap the escalopes in a center of each warmed plate and pour the sauce around. Sprinkle with a few chopped chives and serve immediately while the sauce is still foaming.