Steak with Peppercorn Sauce :
4-8oz sirloin steaks, salt, pepper, sunflower oil, butter
1 tbsp butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
3 tsp green peppercorns, in brine, drained
3 tbsp brandy
100ml red wine
200ml good-quality beef stock
4 tbsp double cream
Remove steak from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Season with salt and pepper.
Take a heavy base fry pan or griddle pan, add sunflower oil, and heat over a high flame.
When the oil is shimmering, turn heat down to medium-high.
Lay steak into the pan, Sear both sides of the steak for roughly 45 seconds each side. Once seared, add a knob of butter to each side. Turn steaks every 45 seconds.
As a rough guide, each steak will take 3 minutes for rare, 4-5 minutes for medium, 7-8 minutes for well done.
Put the butter in a large, high-sided frying pan, then fry the shallots and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened but not browned. Add the brandy and cook until it has reduced away to almost nothing.
Pour the wine into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce again, this time by two- thirds, this will take around 5 mins.
Stir the cream into the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce is seasoned to your liking before serving with steak.
Baked Cod with Parsley Sauce :
Cod Fillet, olive oil, salt.
300ml full-fat milk
½ onion, peeled, finely sliced
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 fresh bay leaf
4 whole white peppercorns
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 205C. Drizzle cod with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
For the parsley sauce, slowly bring the milk, onion, nutmeg, bay leaf and white peppercorns to a simmer in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 25g of the butter in a heavy-based pan. Whisk in the flour to create a smooth paste, then cook, whisking continuously, for one minute, or until the paste has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat.
Strain the milk mixture into the roux mixture, then whisk well until completely incorporated.
Return the pan to the heat and gradually bring the mixture to the boil, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Stir in the remaining 10g of butter until the sauce is glossy, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.