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Nick and Stef's Steak au Poivre

2 18 oz. rib-eye steaks
sea salt
2 T. coarsely ground black pepper
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. butter
2 shallots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1/4 C. cognac
1 t. green peppercorns in brine, drained
1 small bunch chives or parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Over a medium flame, heat an ovenproof saute pan large enough to hold the two steaks. Season both sides of each steak with sea salt and the coarsely ground black pepper.

Add olive oil to the pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, use tongs to gently slide the steaks into the pan. Shake the pan slightly to make sure the steaks aren't sticking to the bottom.

Break the butter into small pieces and drop it around the edges of the steaks. Allow the steaks to brown slightly, 2-3 minutes, and then turn them over. Cook 2-3 minutes more.

Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking. For medium rare, cook 3-5 minutes in the oven. When the steaks are done to your liking, remove them from the pan, transferring them to a baking sheet or large flat plate so they can rest while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce: Pour excess fat out of the saute pan. Add the sliced shallots and brown slightly over a medium flame. Add the cognac and allow it to reduce to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add the drained peppercorns and cook for an additional minute.

Check the seasoning on the steak by running your finger over the surface and taste. If you do not taste any salt, season the top lightly. Return the steaks to the pan to heat briefly, coating them with the pan juices. Add the chopped chives or parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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