This dish is a classic in France and always wonderful with a frisée salad, french fries, and a bottle of red wine. For sear-roasting steak, a cast-iron pan works best.
Heat the oven to 500°F. Sprinkle the steaks with salt on both sides, and then press the ground peppercorns into the steaks on both sides. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film. When the oil is very hot, add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned on one side, about 3 minutes (If the pan is small, work in batches.) Flip the meat over and put the skillet in the oven. For medium-rare steaks, roast for 3 minutes for 6-oz. steaks; 4 minutes for 8-oz. steaks. Check for doneness with the tip of a knife or by pressing with your fingertips, keeping in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they sit. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent with foil.
With a spoon, remove any fat from the skillet. Put the skillet back on the burner and heat to medium high. Add the wine and cook until it's reduced to 1/4 cup, about 7 min., scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the butter a slice at a time, whisking until completely melted. Taste and adjust the seasonings, drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.
nutrition information (per serving):
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Photo: Ben Fink