Sticking with the Classics: Steak Au Poivre

It’s the start of a new year, and the time when many people make resolutions to make changes, great or small, and depart from their past. I think I’ve only once made a resolution for New Years (to give up fries, which I did for almost 18 months), but otherwise, I am not one to think I have to change something every January 1st. I am extremely analytical and often make “resolutions” throughout the year changing the way I approach challenges, my perspective on life, and my eating/exercising habits. I’ve come to realize the more extreme or nonnative changes I try to make most often don’t work, and I am better off staying true to myself and sticking to the classics. I think this mantra is also very true to food, and as much as I like experimenting with cooking techniques and trying new foods, some things will never disappoint. Steak au Poivre is one of those classic dishes; whether made at home or ordered at a restaurant, it never disappoints. For those of you who are endeavoring (as I constantly am) to eat healthier, this recipe from Cooking Light will allow you to have a classic without wrecking your resolution (read: diet).


Balsamic Steak Au Poivre

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Yield:  3 servings (3.5 ounces of steak)
Nutrition: 245 calories; 13 grams of fat; 5 grams of saturated fat; 25 grams of protein


  • 1 10 ounce dry aged porterhouse steak (if it is bone-in, you’ll need to get one that is about 1.25 pounds because the fat and bone will count for a large portion of the weight–I found this to be fact by using my new kitchen scale, which I will say is a must have for anyone who cooks or fancies herself/himself a chef)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup of fat free, lower sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

1. Coarsely crush the peppercorns, leaving some whole (I placed them in a ziplock bag, and crushed them using the butt of my chef’s knife). Then pour the soy sauce and salt over your steak, and press the peppercorns into both sides of the steak. Let it rest for 15-30 minutes.

What a beauty.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak, flipping only once so as to preserve the peppercorns in the steak.

3. While the steak is cooking, dice shallots.

4. When steak is done cooking, keep it warm while you cook the sauce. Add shallots to pan and saute for about a minute, until tender. There should be residue and peppercorns in the pan.
5. Add balsamic vinegar and beef stock and bring to a boil and scrape off browned bits from pan (they will mix into the liquids easily.
6. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until reduced by half. Then remove from heat and add in butter (it is easier to stir in if you chop the butter into small pieces).
7. Cut steak into 1/2 inch strips and serve with sauce. ( You could do a more traditional square cut of meat, but I liked letting the sauce soak into each strip for a minute while I assembled my salad).
I served mine with a Caesar salad (using Walden Farms dressing) and had a fabulous dinner, cooked in less than 20 minutes, and for less than 500 calories!
Cheers to the classics and 2014!

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