Steak au poivre

The following is a classic beef tenderloin recipe, now optimized for the super-tasty rib-eye. Mushrooms have been added as a variation.

1 rib-eye steak, 13-16 oz
black peppercorns
3 oz Cognac (or Napoleon brandy)
4-5 oz white mushrooms
6 oz heavy cream
olive oil
Crush 1 1/2 Tbl of whole black peppercorns with the bottom of a skillet into a coarse consistency. Clean and coarsely chop the mushrooms.

Remove excess moisture from the steak with paper towels. Season the steak, liberally, with salt. Press the cracked black pepper - firmly - into the top and bottom surfaces of the steak.

Heat up a heavy, 12 inch skillet over a medium flame. Pour in 1 Tbl of olive oil, and melt 1 Tbl of butter into the oil. When the butter begins to brown, place the steak into the pan. Sear the steak on both sides. Test it for doneness by poking it with your finger. Remove the steak from the pan and - partially - degrease the pan, making sure to leave as much black pepper in the pan as possible.

Throw in the mushrooms. Toss them around in the pan for 30 seconds. Turn off the flame. Add the Cognac, and stand back. Ignite the Cognac with a long match or a firestick. Allow the towering inferno of flames to die down. Turn the heat back on to medium, reducing the Cognac/mushroom mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in the heavy cream. Reduce it, slightly. Pour the accumulated drippings from underneath the steak into the pan. Reduce the liquid to a tight consistency. Adjust the sauce for salt. Return the steak to the pan, and drench it with the sauce. Place the steak on a serving plate, and drizzle it with the pepper-rich sauce.