On my jaunt to Paris last May I was introduced to Bertrand Auboyneau, the owner of Le Bistro Paul Bert, whose incredible plating of steak frites is still etched in my mind.
He uses an essential ingredient in the cream sauce for his steak frites which sends the dish over the top with customers naming it “Best in Paris.” I’m told it is the “Sarawak” pepper from Borneo Island in Malaysia, combined with the top quality beef, heavy cream, butter and Cognac, that wins patrons over time and again.
If able to visit this favorite Paris bistrot, make sure to ask for extra sauce on the side as you will want it to dip your crispy golden frites, and don’t ask for the meat well-done or you might just get thrown out!
Note: Order the Paris-Brest for dessert, it is amazing!
Four 1/4-lb thick beef filets
1 oz. Sarawak peppercorns
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup high-quality Cognac
1 2/3 cups heavy or double cream
Crush the peppercorns using a pestle and mortor, and roll the fillets in the crushed pepper to coat them.
Place the butter in a pan over high heat, and when it begins to foam, sear the fillets on each side. Season with salt.
Deglaze with the Cognac, and flambé the contents of the pan.
Pour the cream into the pan, and continue cooking the meat until rare. Cooking past rare, ruins the experience.
Remove it, and leave it to rest while the cream cooks until it reaches desired consistency.
Pour the sauce over the steak and serve with hot frites and a fresh green salad.