ffwD: Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

I have a confession to make: I was planning on skipping this week’s recipe. I’m somewhat skittish around steaks because of the whole “rare”-to-“well done” spectrum. It leaves too much room for error.

However, my sister (Codename: Gamer Psychologist) attended her last graduate school class on Tuesday, and I thought that accomplishment merited a celebration. Seeing as this recipe calls for Filet Mignon, it fit the bill perfectly. So, I rearranged my pre-planned meal and made this week’s ffwD recipe instead. Plus, Gamer Psychologist loves meat.And, yes, you’re reading that price tag correctly. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my mother here to buy the expensive ingredients like with Dorie’s scallops. But, I felt Gamer Psychologist had worked hard and earned the right to have the pricey stuff. Besides, just look how gorgeous these two filets looked raw:I knew they would look even more amazing once cooked!

The timing on how long to sear each side was really helpful. I did my best to find a coarse grind peppercorn mill, but the best I could do was a medium grind. And, I added just a touch of sea salt to each steak prior to cooking for more flavor.Cooking the steaks was pretty simple. I’m slightly embarrassed at how hesitant I was before.

I will say that the cooked filet looked so good that I almost didn’t want to put the brandy cream sauce over it. However, the brandy cream sauce was so tasty and was the perfect complement to the tender steak. I’m definitely going to make this sauce again for a splash of decadence in other dishes, like sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, or instead of gravy on mashed potatoes.The simplicity of this entire recipe makes it a keeper in my book! The ground peppercorns and sea salt were just enough to season the steaks without overpowering their naturally tender, buttery flavor. However, the cream sauce really pushes the steaks over the top!

By the way, I wanted to focus on making the steaks and sauce that I didn’t make the potato wedges myself. I cheated and bought pre-made potatoes.To see how other bloggers fared with the Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak, head over to French Fridays with Dorie. As usual, the recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cakelaw
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 18:08:04

    Fab looking steak and chips! I avoided the fillet mignon price tag and used the rump I had in the freezer, but it was still good.

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 18:41:15

    That brandy cream sauce looks great. Yes, steaks are pricey. But think what it would’ve cost if you went out to a restaurant.

  3. Liz
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 19:05:56

    Oh, my!!! Your steak looks restaurant quality! Brava, my friend…so glad you didn’t skip this week…you rocked it πŸ™‚

  4. Denise @ There's a Newf in My Soup!
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 19:20:09

    That first photo looks very bistro-ish! We don’t eat steak too often, so I also closed my eyes to the price per pound – ouch! Beautiful!

  5. Meri
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 20:02:28

    As a vegetarian, this is a rare view for me. I’ve never had steak, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to try it!

    I love Alexia fries, especially the sweet potato ones!

  6. Allison
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 20:30:58

    You were going to skip steak???? Actually I do understand. I’d wanted to make it for my friends but had to be a little cheap this week and only buy one 8 dollar steak and eat it myself. So glad you loved it too!

  7. Christina
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 21:24:51

    Your steaks look amazing! Recipes like this remind me why I’m a meat eater. There’s just something about a good piece of well-cooked beef and that sauce was delicious!

  8. Yuri
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 22:06:40

    That steak looks perfectly cooked! I am skipping this recipe as I am going thru a temporary meatless phase and my boyfriend decided to join me too. I love the codenames for your sister and friends. My favorite one is “metiche”. Do you speak spanish?

    • yummychunklet
      Apr 29, 2011 @ 01:55:59

      Lol. Actually, I only know a couple of phrases. But, my co-worker who I call “Metiche” is a nod to her boss. The story is that when she first started working for him, he kept asking her what she was doing, looking at on the computer, and being all around nosey. So, she called him metiche, and said that it was his name in Spanish! So, now it’s a running joke in our office.

  9. Ameena
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 22:13:24

    I am so intimidated when it comes to cooking meat. I simply do not know how! It appears you do it quite well though, my husband would be so jealous!

    And the fries…oh the fries look divine!

  10. Kankana
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 22:17:18

    Now that I think of it.. it’s been quite sometime since I had some grilled steak at home πŸ™‚ Looks so delicious .. making me crave you see πŸ˜‰

  11. StephIrey
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 22:34:21

    Your steaks are so beautiful! What a great sister you are to treat your sis to such a lovely celebration dinner. Wonderful!

  12. Krissy
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 22:52:49

    Pretty nice celebration dinner for your sister! Your steaks look perfect. I wondered how the cream sauce would be with the steaks…glad to get your opinion.

  13. Eva
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 23:21:13

    From the looks of it I’d say that steak was worth every penny! You made it so perfectly, and that sauce sounds delicious!!!

  14. michelle
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 23:35:12

    Beautiful looking steaks! I agree, almost too pretty for the sauce. But…mmmm! πŸ˜‰

  15. Christina
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 00:13:05

    Your sauce and steaks look amazing!

  16. Three-Cookies
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 00:51:02

    I thought stakes would be cheaper than that in the US, very surprised.

  17. sweetlife
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 00:58:31

    oh yum, totally worth it the sauce looks amazing!! congrats!!


  18. betsy
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 05:35:33

    You are such a nice sister to splurge to celebrate her achievement! And it looks like it came out perfectly.

  19. Jay
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 05:43:47

    yum yum yum….dish looks divine..wat a wonderful presentation..
    Tasty Appetite

  20. Maris (In Good Taste)
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 06:06:53

    Congrats to yuor sister! She is lucky to have such a great sister who cooks like this!

  21. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 07:03:46

    They look great! Congrats to the graduate, as well! πŸ™‚

  22. Peggy
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 07:08:19

    So jealous of your beautiful meal! I can’t resist a good filet and you definitely did an outstanding job with this one! I’m really intrigued about that cream sauce too!

  23. Adriana
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 08:10:28

    Congrats to you and your sister on your accomplishments! Your fillets look beautiful. My sauce came out a little too runny, but I loved the flavor.

  24. sanyaliving
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 08:48:44

    Your sauce looks great! So do your steaks!
    I have a fear of thick steaks, I blame my mother for that! She likes to make sure meat is cooked to death!
    What a great sister you are!

  25. Mary
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 08:59:24

    What a fabulous meal. I’m sure your sister really appreciated your thoughtfulness. The tenderloins look fabulous an the cream sauce couldn’t be more perfect. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  26. amanda @ fake ginger
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 09:00:50

    Yours looks just like the photo from the book! YUM! I can’t believe the price on those steaks though – insane!

  27. Kathy
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 09:18:19

    Beautiful steaks and a wonderful way to celebrate!! I thought I paid a lot..mine were only 19.99 a pound. I also loved this meal!!

  28. Spike
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 09:35:24

    They look so beautiful (and should for that price, right?). That is just the way I like my steaks- nice and red in the middle. Lucky sister. Can’t believe I missed this one- crazy week around here

  29. Trevor Sis. boom
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:15:19

    I had a secret method for fries too. The last thing I want to mess with is frying in oil when I’m flaming cognac! These look great. I think a good steak should be in everyones meal rotation.

  30. Parsley Sage
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:41:26

    …I could eat those beautiful steaks raw! They looks perfect πŸ™‚ And cooked, even better! Well done, all around. The sauce sounds very tasty. Thanks so much for sharing. And congrats to your sister for her big accomplishment!

  31. Clarkie @ Beloved Green
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:47:40

    They look so juicy and amazing. Sometimes you just have to splurge on good meat.

  32. Monica (Ms. Hobby)
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:56:48

    Looks like everything turned out well! Congrats to your sister too.

  33. Renee (Kudos Kitchen)
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 12:13:39

    Your steaks look perfect! I’ve also made those Alexia brand fries when in a pinch and they’re yummy! Any who, great looking steak!

  34. rebecca
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 13:07:50

    wow what a perfect steak, must confess i have never cooked one and the sauce looks great too

    enjoy the weekend

  35. Steph@stephsbitebybite
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 13:18:37

    Your sear on the steak is to die for!! And now I wish I had fries to soak up my sauce…next time πŸ˜‰ Great job!

  36. Ronda
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 14:04:36

    How divine! Congrats to your sis!

  37. claire
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 15:24:58


    this looks amazing! my mouth is watering… i must make this recipe!

  38. Cher
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 18:01:54

    Congrats to sister on her accomplishment – sounds like she earned that dinner!

  39. Tricia S.
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 19:32:18

    Oh man – your steak looks AMAZING ! Great job. And I am with you on both the initial hesitancy as well as the feeling of “why have I not done this before”. I have really been hesitant about steaks previously and I was almost shocked at how simple this was an how great it turned out. Your searing really ended up gorgeous. How special to share this recipe in honor of your sister’s impressive achievement. Kudos to you both !

  40. Pachecopatty
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 19:59:43

    Your steaks are very bistro-ish and they are definitely a splurge item;-)
    I would make this again for a special meal, the peppercorns and sauce on that good steak meat are delicious;-)
    Congrats on a good job, I can imagine you were very happy with this dish!

  41. Anne Marie
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 22:39:49

    Looks delicious, makes me want to pry open my wallet!

  42. Elaine
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 23:09:33

    This looks so delicious! Your filets look perfect. I wish I had one of those with your fries right now!

  43. Anne-Marie
    Apr 30, 2011 @ 07:39:42

    Your filets look perfect! I love that you cheated on the fries. Congrats to Gamer Psychologist!

  44. kitchenarian
    Apr 30, 2011 @ 19:32:16

    Beautiful job! I am so glad you made it. I love the idea of the sauce over mushrooms.

  45. Renee
    Apr 30, 2011 @ 22:47:07

    Wow! Those look phenomenal! Yay for last graduate school class too!

  46. Candy
    May 01, 2011 @ 07:14:19

    Wow – I thought filet mignon was expensive here but $36.99 a pound?!

    Your steaks look perfect and I’m sure this was the perfect way to celebrate your sister’s accomplishment!

  47. MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College
    May 01, 2011 @ 11:27:52

    Congrats on conquering your food cooking fear!!!

    I love those fries πŸ™‚ I get them at Sprouts, sometimes they have sweet potato ones, they are the best.

  48. Miss Anthropist
    May 01, 2011 @ 13:04:25

    Congrats to your sister! Those steaks look heavenly πŸ™‚

  49. Miri Leigh
    May 01, 2011 @ 15:06:01

    Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! Thanks for posting!

  50. Terra
    May 01, 2011 @ 22:25:03

    I am not a big steak eater, so new I was going to miss this week;-) BUT that being said, you make it sound soooo yummy….I may need to just go for it!!!

  51. Alice
    May 02, 2011 @ 11:18:26

    I love the sound of the sauce, so simple, yet so effective and substantial. You did a great job on those steaks too. Yummy!

  52. Cooking Gallery
    May 02, 2011 @ 12:09:30

    The steak looks gorgeous, both raw and cooked. And I love the sound of Brandy sauce, thanks for the wonderful idea :)!

  53. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    May 03, 2011 @ 00:12:53

    For some reason, I can’t seem to open your blog on my iPad….it has something to do with the new swipe view, I think. Anyway, I have to wait till I get on my regular computer to be able to leave this comment. I don’t see why you should be envious of my food styling skills because your first photo of the steak and sauce looks absolutely drippilicious!

  54. gnashingrefined
    May 03, 2011 @ 17:36:22

    That steak is mouthwatering looking at it both raw and cooked. YUM!

  55. Kim- Liv Life
    May 03, 2011 @ 22:39:15

    Congratulations to the graduate!!! And congratulations on cooking what appears to be the perfect fillet!! Nicely done!!!

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