Sichuan Steak au Poivre with Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Steak au Poivre is a steakhouse staple of a black pepper covered filet. This recipe turns up the flavor -- and the tingle -- by adding Sichuan peppercorns in with black peppercorns. The side of creamy scallion mashed potatoes will make you forget all about the steakhouse.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Potatoes:

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, about 5 potatoes

2 large cloves garlic 

Salt 

1 cup half-n-half or whole milk 

3 tablespoons butter 

1 bunch scallions, 5 to 6 

White pepper 

Sichuan Steak au Poivre:

About 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns

1 tablespoon black peppercorns 

4 steaks (6 to 7 ounces) beef tenderloin filet, each about 1 1/4 inches thick

Kosher salt 

2 shallots 

1 inch ginger root 

2 cloves garlic 

EVOO

3 tablespoons butter 

About 1/4 cup Shaoxing Chinese sherry or 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy 

1 cup beef bone broth or stock 

1/4 to 1/3 cup creme fraiche 

Upland cress or watercress, to serve 

Directions

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. For the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes. Place potatoes and garlic, crushed away from skins, in a pot. Cover with cold water, cover and bring to a boil. When they boil, remove the lid, salt the water and cook to tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rice into pot using a food mill or ricer.
  3. Meanwhile, warm half-n-half or milk and butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Finely chop the scallions, whites and greens.
  4. For the steaks: Coarsely grind the peppercorns in mortar with pestle. Pat steaks dry, season with kosher salt and rub with peppercorn mixture. Let stand 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel ginger with tip of a teaspoon and have a fine grater on hand. Crush the garlic and discard skins and root.
  7. To skillet add EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, and melt in 1 tablespoon butter. Add steaks and cook 2 to 3 minutes to brown. Flip and cook 2 minutes more. Remove to platter. Add 2 tablespoons butter and when it foams add the shallots, garlic and grate in the ginger. Stir a minute or 2, then add sherry or cognac or brandy, stir, and add bone broth. Reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Finish with creme fraiche to taste. Add beef back to pan and turn to warm in the sauce.
  8. Add hot milk and scallions to potatoes and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  9. Place steaks on plates, top with sauce and cress and scallion potatoes alongside.