3 tablespoon black peppercorns
Four 6 ounce beef filets, about 1 1/2 in. thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup cognac
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Wrap peppercorns in a clean dish towel, then crush, either by pressing firmly with the bottom of a heavy skillet or by tapping gently with a mallet. (Peppercorns should be cracked, not ground.) Transfer pepper to a plate, then roll filets in it so that they are evenly coated. Season liberally on both sides with salt.
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add filets and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer steaks to 4 warmed plates. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you prepare sauce.
Add cognac to hot pan, then carefully ignite with a long handled match. (Keep lid handy so flame can be extinguished if necessary.) Allow alcohol to burn off, about 1 minute, then add stock. Cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pour over steaks.
Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings