The French classic of pepper corn steak, updated for a Northwestern flare. The sweetness of the apples and the apple juice are what makes this dish. It calms the pepper down in your mouth but still lets the flavors have a nice bite. Using a local apple, something firm like a Fuji, works great.
6-8 4oz Venison Steaks, Sirloin Makes a great choice
3 Tablespoons Cracked Black Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2ea Fuji or Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch wedges
1 tablespoon Flour
¼ cup apple juice (brandy or bourbon works great here too)
½ cup milk
1 sprig rosemary (optional)
Turn oven on to “warm” and place a plate inside. Heat large heavy bottomed pan on medium. Pour the cracked peppercorns onto a small plate. Firmly press each of the steaks into the cracked peppercorns, just one side. Lightly season both sides with salt.
Pour oil into pan, it should be on the verge of smoking hot. Place the steaks in the pan peppercorn side down and let brown for 2-3 minutes. The steaks should be a nice golden browned before flipping.
Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove promptly from heat if blood starts to show on the top of the pepper crusted section, this will mean that they are about medium. Place steaks on the plate in the oven to keep warm.
In the bottom of the pan should be a bunch of brown goodies stuck to the bottom, this is a good thing. Add the apples and flour. The juice from the apples should allow the flour to be absorbed and not clump. When the apples start to brown add the apple juice, about 1 additional minute. Use a wooden spoon and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. The flour should thicken the apple juice mix quickly. Add the milk, let simmer until it reduces and thickens to a thin “gravy” consistency.
Remove steaks from the oven. Pour off any blood from the platter and serve with roasted potatoes and sautéed kale. Garnish with rosemary if desired.