Steak with pepper sauce

Do you mean that spicy southern sauce?

Nope. This is a French sauce – sauce au poivre – made with black pepper, and it’s not really spicy at all, just a rich, thick sauce that is good (and quick!) on noodles on a cold day.

How to make steak with pepper sauce:

In a large saucepan, put water on for noodles. In a medium frying pan, melt some bacon fat (or butter). Dice an onion very fine and fry it in the fat, along with a diced carrot.

When the onion is softened and just beginning to brown, add two cups of water, a cube of beef bouillon, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a half a cup of red wine, a handful of thyme, a large pinch of salt, and about a teaspoon of freshly ground peppercorns.

Chop and add a tomato. (I used a bunch of cherry tomatoes actually.) Stir and simmer over fairly high heat to reduce and thicken the sauce.

Meanwhile, cook fettucine or butterfly noodles. When the sauce is thickened, add thinly sliced raw steak in bite-size pieces, and simmer them in the sauce until they are just barely cooked (a couple of minutes).

Add more black pepper to taste. Serve over the noodles, with sauteed zucchini or a salad on the side.

Vegetarian or vegan

You could make this sauce vegetarian by using butter and vegetable bouillon, and substituting seitan for the steak, but I don’t think it would be great. If you’re not vegetarian, though, this would be good with seitan instead of the steak. Gluten-free, if you use gluten-free noodles.

Can I keep this sauce for later?

Mix whatever is left with the leftover noodles, and it will be fine reheated for a few days. It won’t freeze well though.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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