Steak Pepe Verde is on relatively few menus these days, but it is far from being a forgotten classic entree. Fresh green peppercorns packed in brine release an interesting flavor when cooked with grappa or brandy. The flavor carries into the Italian style espagnole sauce. The flavor of the of this Italian pepe verde sauce has very mellow green peppercorn flavor with no sharp black pepper bite.
Italians make there own version of espagnole, just like the French do. Espagnole sauce was originally credited as being created in Spain. Beef broth sauces (brown sauces) had been made for many centuries before the Spanish standardized the espagnole sauce. The origins of Italian brown sauces are Italian!
Italian Brown Sauce:
This recipes makes a few portions of sauce! Originally, Italian beef broth was made only with beef and bones. After the colombian exchange, onion and tomato were found to be very beneficial for beef broth making. Acid from tomato breaks down the beefs connective tissue and onion adds a sweet roasted flavor.
Place 2 pounds of beef scraps and bones in a roasting pan.
Add 1 chopped onion with the skin attached.
Add 2 whole cloves of garlic.
Add 3 ounces of tomato paste.
Roast in a 350 degree oven, till the ingredients are caramelized to a brown color.
Place the ingredients in a pot.
Deglaze the pan with water and add the jus to the pot.
Cover the ingredients with 2" of extra water.
Place the pot over medium low/low heat.
Add 1 bay leaf.
Add 1 bunch of Italian parsley stems.
Simmer the broth for 4 hours and add water as necessary.
Pour the ingredients through a fine mesh strainer into a second pot.
Place the pot over medium heat.
Make 2 to 4 ounces of light blond roux in a second pot. (It is a judgement call as to how much roux will be needed! Any excess roux can be saved for another recipe.)
Add just enough of the roux, while whisking, to thicken the broth to a very thin sauce consistency.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin sauce consistency.
Season the brown sauce with finely ground black pepper and sea salt.
Cool the sauce.
Brown sauce can be kept in a refrigerator for 7 days.
Bistecca Pepe Verde Recipe:Trim the excess fat and gristle off of the edges of a 12 to 14 ounce New York Strip Steak.
Season the steak only with sea salt.
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium high heat.
Add 1 small splash of blended olive oil.
Place the steak in the pan.
Pan sear the steak on both sides, till it is cooked one shade less than the desired finished temperature. (If you want the finished steak to be cooked medium rare, the only cook the steak rare at this point!)
Remove the steak from the pan and set it aside.
Reduce the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 minced garlic clove to the pan.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
Saute till the shallots turn clear in color.
Deglaze the pan with 2 1/2 ounces of grappa, cognac or brandy.
Add 2 ounces of dry red wine.
Add 3/4 cup of the brown sauce.
Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the thin sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a small sauce pot.
Place the sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of canned green peppercorns that were packed in brine.
Return the steak to the sauce in the pan.
Simmer and reduce the sauce to a thin sauce consistency, while reheating the steak.
Note: Remove the steak from the sauce, when it reaches the desired temperature, especially if the steak finishes before the sauce!
The sauce is ready when it is able to coat the back of a spoon.
Bistecca Pepe Verde Presentation:
Place the steak on a plate.
Spoon the pepe verde sauce over the steak and onto the plate.
Serve with vegetables of your choice. (I served the bistecca pepe verde in the pictures with buttered boiled purple potatoes and a sauteed vegetable medley.)
Pepe Verde is a simple recipe that tastes very refined! The green peppercorn flavor goes well with the brandied brown sauce. Italian grappa provides an even more robust flavor, but it is kind of a sin to use good grappa for cooking! This is an elegant tasting Italian steak entree! ... Ciao Baby! Shawna