Ribeye Steak With Green Peppercorn Pan Sauce
by Jonathan Justus, Chef, Justus Drugstore - A Restaurant, Smithville, Missouri
For the dressed greens:
- Makes about 1½ cups of vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
- 5 cups mixed greens
Combine all ingredients, except oil and greens, in a blender. Starting slow, increase speed of blender until high. While blending on high, very slowly drizzle oil into the vortex of your vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt. This should be made the day before, as the flavors will develop overnight.
For the ribeye:
- 4 Certified Piedmontese ribeye steaks
- Drizzle of canola oil
- Salt and pepper
For the pan sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon Port wine
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon green peppercorns* (brined is preferred to dried)
- *Green peppercorns can be found in gourmet markets or in Asian markets.
Make sure all ingredients for the sauce are measured and set aside before preparing the ribeyes. Preparation for sauce is done in the pan after the ribeyes are seared.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Lightly oil your steaks on all sides and season with salt and pepper to personal preference.
Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy clad stainless steel sauté pan (nonstick will not work) over medium-high heat. When a drop of water flicked into the pan beads up and rolls around, it is hot enough.
Lay your steaks in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. The steaks will stick to the pan at first. When the steaks lift up easily without sticking, turn them over. Do the same to the other sided. If only two steaks fit, set aside the first two on a baking sheet or pie tin in one layer, and work in twos if you have to. When all four steaks have been seared, transfer them to your hot oven.
Before your pan gets any hotter, follow the next steps rather quickly.
To your still-hot skillet/sauté pan (still over medium-high heat), add the butter and shallots. When shallots have softened, carefully add your port and brandy. Use caution when adding the spirits and stand back, as they will likely ignite.
When the flames subside, add the cream and peppercorns. Stir to make sure all of the browned tasty bits that the steaks left behind have lifted off the bottom of the pan and become incorporated into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until reduced by half. This should take about 5 minutes.
Check the steaks in the oven. With an instant-read thermometer, pierce one of the steaks through the side (not top or bottom), making sure the end is in the center of the thickest portion of the cut. For rare, remove steaks from the oven at 120°F, for medium-rare at 125°F, and for medium at 130°F.
You must let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes. Turn the pan sauce back on just long enough to heat it through. Serve steaks alongside lightly dressed greens, with the pan sauce poured over top.