Serious Eats: Recipes

Black and Orange: Black Pepper-Crusted Sliced Steak with Crème Fraîche Sweet Potato Mash

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[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

For a Halloween main course, I love this spicy black steak with sweet orange mash. The steak is done simply—just crusted in black pepper, and seared to medium-rare, then sliced. The mash, mixed from russet potatoes and sweet potatoes, is sweet but tangy from the crème fraîche. The sweet-spicy contrast is as perfect as the colors.

Black Pepper-Crusted Sliced Steak with Crème Fraîche Sweet Potato Mash

- serves 2 -

Ingredients for the Black Pepper Steak

14-16 ounces beef tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or 1 teaspoon smashed black peppercorns
Salt
1 tablespoon light olive oil

Procedure for the Black Pepper Steak

1. Put a sauté pan on medium high to heat to get very hot.

2. Meanwhile, pack the sides of the steak with the pepper so that it is completely coated. Season with salt.

3. Put the oil in the pan, and immediately place the steak in as well. Sear 3 minutes on each of the 4 sides for medium rare.

4. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. Slice it into 4 thick slices.

Ingredients for the Smashed Crème Fraîche Sweet Potatoes

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
1 baking potato, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream fraîche
1/4 cup (or more if necessary) half and half

Procedure for the Smashed Crème Fraîche Sweet Potatoes

1. Place the sweet potato and baking potato chunks into a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes from the boil.

2. Drain off the potatoes, and then return them to the same hot, but now dry, pot. Put the pot on a low heat for just about 1 minute, to allow any excess liquid to burn off. Add in the butter and crème fraîche and season with salt. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Then add the half and half until you have the consistency you desire. Mash a bit more, and you're done.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient and the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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