Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1-1/2 pounds boneless beef steak, 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick, your choice of cut (I used Omaha Steaks’ top sirloin)
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup cognac or Brandy
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon white or black peppercorns, cracked (I used Melissa’s Rainbow Peppercorn Grinder)

About an hour before serving, remove the meat from the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt.

In a large, heavy pan, heat the oil over medium high heat until it is just beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook without disturbing for three minutes until a golden crust forms. Flip and repeat on the other side. Flip again and then cook, flipping and basting with the juices every 20 to 30 seconds, until the meat is browned on the outside and cooked to your liking on the inside.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cover with foil to allow to rest while you prepare the sauce.

Reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Pour in the cognac, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spatula to loosen up the bits. Whisk in the butter and cook for one minute. Whisk in the cream and cracked peppercorns and stir until warmed through.

Cut the meat into servings, if needed, and divide among 4 to 6 plates. Spoon sauce over the meat.