4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup canned low-sodium beef broth
3/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon or 1 teaspoon
4 strip steaks (8-10 ounces each), 3/4 to 1 inch thick,
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch heavy
bottomed skillet over medium heat, when foaming
subsides, add shallot and cook, stirring
occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add
beef and chicken broth, increase heat to high and
boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.
Set reduced broth mixture aside. Rinse and wipe
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of steaks with
salt; rub one side of each steak with 1 teaspoon
crushed peppercorns, and using fingers, press
peppercorns into steaks to make them adhere.
3. Place now-empty skillet over medium heat until
hot, about 4 minutes. Lay steaks unpeppered side
down in hot skillet, increase heat to medium-high,
firmly pressing down on steaks with bottom of cake
pan, and cook steaks without moving them until
well-browned, about 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip
steaks, firmly press down on steaks with bottom of
cake pan, and cook on peppered side, about 3
minutes longer for rare, about 4 minutes longer for
medium-rare, or about 5 minutes longer for medium.
Transfer steaks to a large plate and tent loosely
with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour reduced broth, cream, and 1/4 cup brandy
into now empty skillet; increase heat to high and
bring to boil, scraping pan bottom with wooden
spoon to loosen browned bits. Simmer until deep
golden brown and thick enough to heavily coat back
of metal tablespoon or soup spoon, about 5
minutes. Off heat, whisk in remaining 3
tablespoons butter, remaining 1 tablespoon brandy,
lemon juice or vinegar, and any accumulated meat
juices. Adjust seasonings with salt.
5. Set steaks on individual dinner plates, spoon
portion of sauce over steaks, and serve
NOTE: to save time, crush the peppercorns and trim
the steaks while the broth mixture simmers. Many
pepper mills do not have a sufficiently coarse
setting. In that case, crush peppercorns with a
saute pan or rolling pin.