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Culinary Arts

Wolfgang Puck’s Pepper Steak Recipe With Red Wine Sauce

Written by MasterClass

Oct 24, 2018 • 3 min read

Written by MasterClass

Oct 24, 2018 • 3 min read

Learn to make one of Wolfgang Puck’s favorite steak preparations, an easy pepper steak recipe that uses a demi-glace and lots of black pepper. Balance the spice of green, white, and black pepper with the sweetness of raisins, and reduce the perfect red wine pan sauce for a New York strip steak using Wolfgang’s spoon test. This dish has a quick cook time, making it the perfect dinner recipe for weeknight meals; Wolfgang says: “Don’t get anxious—let it sear. A lot of people put meat in a pan and then they want to turn it over, they want to look. You don’t have to look. It takes three to four minutes on each side to make a delicious steak.”

While strip steak is the cornerstone of Wolfgang’s recipe, many cuts of beef may be used. Try making this meal with another cut, like sirloin steak, filet mignon, or flank steak. How does the texture of the dish change? Does the pepper crust work better with some cuts than others? The beauty of this pepper steak recipe is that it works with many other cuts of steak, too, yielding an interesting dish each time.

Recipe: Pepper Steak with Red Wine Raisin Sauce

Ingredients

Steak

  • 4 New York strip steaks
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Pepper Crust

  • 2 tbsp green peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns

Red Wine Pan Sauce

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup veal demi-glace
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt

Salad

  • watercress
  • olive oil

Begin with the sauce ingredients. Combine raisins and red wine in a large sauté pan over medium heat. The wine will plump up the raisins and help you deglaze your pan.

Now make the pepper crust. Combine all the peppercorns in a ziplock bag, make sure the bag is free of air, and seal. Crush the peppercorns with a mallet or rolling pin. Pour the smashed peppercorns on a plate. Now make steaks from your cut of meat. If you want your steak rare, make a thicker cut. If you want a more well-done steak, make a thinner cut. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and coat with the crushed peppercorns. Store excess crushed peppercorns for future recipes.

Place a large sauté pan on high heat. Pour the olive oil in the pan and heat it up until it starts to lightly smoke. Do not let the oil burn. Slowly place the steaks in the pan away from you to prevent hot oil from splashing on your hands. Sear each side for 3–4 minutes to achieve a brown crust on both sides. When the steaks are done cooking, place them on a baking rack to rest. Pour out the excess oil from the pan. Keep your steaks warm in the oven while you make the sauce.

To make the pan sauce, put the red wine and raisin combination that you made earlier in the pan in which you cooked the steaks over medium-high heat. Reduce the wine. Add the demi-glace and whisk. Reduce the heat to low and add some of the heavy cream. Whisk together and reduce. Taste. Season with salt at the end if needed. Dip a spoon into the sauce. If the sauce is perfectly reduced, it will coat the back of the spoon like lacquer. If the sauce has reduced too much or become too strong in flavor, add more heavy cream to lighten it up.

Preparation

Begin with the sauce ingredients. Combine raisins and red wine in a large sauté pan over medium heat. The wine will plump up the raisins and help you deglaze your pan.

Now make the pepper crust. Combine all the peppercorns in a ziplock bag, make sure the bag is free of air, and seal. Crush the peppercorns with a mallet or rolling pin. Pour the smashed peppercorns on a plate. Now make steaks from your cut of meat. If you want your steak rare, make a thicker cut. If you want a more well-done steak, make a thinner cut. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and coat with the crushed peppercorns. Store excess crushed peppercorns for future recipes.

Place a large sauté pan on high heat. Pour the olive oil in the pan and heat it up until it starts to lightly smoke. Do not let the oil burn. Slowly place the steaks in the pan away from you to prevent hot oil from splashing on your hands. Sear each side for 3–4 minutes to achieve a brown crust on both sides. When the steaks are done cooking, place them on a baking rack to rest. Pour out the excess oil from the pan. Keep your steaks warm in the oven while you make the sauce.

To make the pan sauce, put the red wine and raisin combination that you made earlier in the pan in which you cooked the steaks over medium-high heat. Reduce the wine. Add the demi-glace and whisk. Reduce the heat to low and add some of the heavy cream. Whisk together and reduce. Taste. Season with salt at the end if needed. Dip a spoon into the sauce. If the sauce is perfectly reduced, it will coat the back of the spoon like lacquer. If the sauce has reduced too much or become too strong in flavor, add more heavy cream to lighten it up.

To Plate

Cut the steak into eight pieces and arrange in a fan shape on the plate. Place a small handful of watercress next to the steak and drizzle with olive oil. Then spoon the sauce over and around the meat.

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