The crispy bits and juices left in a skillet after frying steaks make a delicious base for a creamy, cognac-laced pan sauce. We based this recipe on one in Daniel Young's _ The Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris_ (HarperCollins, 2006).
- 4 (8–10-oz.) ﬂat iron steaks, cut horizontally without the connective tissue
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 5 tbsp. cognac or brandy
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a 12" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked to desired temperature, about 6 minutes for medium rare. Remove pan from heat. Transfer steaks to 4 warm plates and pour off and discard all but 1 tbsp. fat.
Add 4½ tbsp. cognac to pan and stir, scraping browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Return pan to medium-high heat and cook for 20 seconds. Add cream and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring vigorously, until sauce just comes together. Stir in remaining cognac and pour sauce over steaks. Serve steaks garnished with parsley and black pepper.
Pairing note: Mostly carignan and mourvedre, the Lioco Indica Mendocino Red Wine 2008 ($19) has a smoky berry ﬂavor that offsets the richness of the steak.