Steak au Poivre for Two

I love making Steak au Poivre because it tastes amazing and looks really fancy, but is so easy to make and with just a few ingredients. It is perfect for a romantic dinner for two served with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. 

Ingredients:
2 Filet Mignon steaks
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon canola or avocado oil
2 Tablespoons shallots, finely chopped 
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:
  1. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt.
  2. Coarsely crush peppercorns. You can do this with a mortar and pestle or put the peppercorns into a ziplock bag and crush with a meat pounder or flat pan. 
  3. Press peppercorns onto both sides of each filet.
  4. Heat a medium cast iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add the oil and wait another minute. Add steaks and sauté, carefully flipping over once. To reach medium rare, this should be about six minutes total.
  5. Let steaks rest and make the sauce.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and pour off the fat from the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and shallots to the pan. Scrape off the brown bits and stir until shallots are browned, about 4 minutes.
  7. Turn up the heat to medium. Carefully add the Cognac and boil, stirring, letting the liquid reduce to a glaze about 3 minutes. Add cream and any meat juices from the plate the steaks are resting on.  Reduce the heat back to low and let the sauce reduce by half for another 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and incorporate. Place steak on a bed of roasted asparagus and top with sauce.

Adapted from Epicurious.com