Chuck steak, a tougher cut of meat, is cooked in a low oven until tender and juicy and then seared to develop a lovely crust. Served with a creamy brandy peppercorn sauce, this is one of my favorite at-home date-night meals!
Yesterday, I had a fairly large photoshoot for a catering client, and I left feeling all kinds of *inspired*. (And also, very full. I may have eaten half a pan of buttermilk cornbread, but I digress). They made more food in two hours than I have probably made in the last week and a half. Besides Daylight Savings ending and turning me into a giant blob of grey sweatsuit material, I felt like I was kind of going through a dry spell with my recipe development.
But after the shoot, I am feeling ready to party in the kitchen again! The food they made was so decadent yet simple and attainable which is what I aspire to be. Everything they made was so delicious, but I think the real star of the show was a BBQ spatchcock chicken doused in honey butter. I don’t often say this about chicken, but it left me DEAD.
Anyways, I have so many recipe ideas now. Aaaand next week, I’m starting a food photography/business mastermind with Sam of Frosting & Fettuccine! She’s so sweet and funny and I can’t wait to learn from her. Hopefully she’ll have tips on how to do a photoshoot in like, one hour instead of four. I have a real knack for taking 80 of the same photo and then never deleting them from my hard-drive. Oops!
The point is that 2020 may be the tastiest year on SSL yet. I have lots of ideas that will hopefully come to fruition. Lots of galettes to galette. Savory snacks. And plenty of at-home date-night recipes!!
Reverse seared chuck steak is the perfect date-night dinner!
Lately, Marc and I have gotten v lazy on the weekends. We still usually go out on Friday and spend Saturdays with friends. But Sundays? No dice. I’m wearing leggings and an oversized sweater all damn day. At most, I may get out to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine or make some soup. But otherwise, you can find me behind my camera shooting new recipes or watching the new season of Bojack. (Which, by the way, has been wildly emotional. If anyone would like to discuss, please hit me up on Instagram).
Anyways, the benefit of these lazy days has been the development of at-home date-night! But wait, aren’t you two childless Millennials who get to eat dinner alone every night? Yep! But, believe it or not, shoving avocado toast in five minutes between the time I come home from work and the time I start blogging/doing laundry/going to the gym is um, not romantic! So, Sunday date-night it is. But, there are a few rules!
One, it must be fairly simple. No uber-difficult recipes on lazy Sundays are allowed in this house. Two, it has to feel kind of special. As much as I love eating kale salads, that is the epitome of a weeknight dinner. And lastly, it must go with a nice glass of wine!
Reverse seared chuck steak with brandy peppercorn sauce ticks all my boxes. It may officially be our new date-night go to. 😛
Reverse seared chuck steak is the only way you should even be eating chuck steak.
I recently heard that chuck steak is also known as the poor man’s ribeye*, because it’s pretty much the only affordable way to serve steak to a large amount of people. This is true! Chuck steak is suuuuper affordable, but most people are under the assumption that it’s too difficult to tenderize. Luckily, it’s actually very easy to make chuck steak tender using the reverse searing method!
Wtf is the reverse searing method? Let’s talk about it! To make a reverse seared chuck steak, you will begin by generously seasoning the meat and letting it sit for at least an hour. Then, all you have to do is cook it in a very low oven and sear the steak to lock in all the juices. After it rests for a few minutes, it’s sliced it against the grain to further tenderize the meat. And, for bonus points, I make a brandy peppercorn sauce, because it’s quick and elevates the recipe tremendously. Reverse seared chuck steak is kind of hard to mess up, so it’s great for beginner steak-aficionados.
Side note, the whole process will take a couple of hours. But, it’s really quite perfect, because it gives you time to cook other dishes, clean the kitchen, or take a shower. It’s 10/10 one of my favorite recipes for serving to guests because I can make it in advance and it holds up nicely. But, usually Marc and I just enjoy it the French way with fries, a light salad, and Pinot Noir. 🤷
*Should I start a petition to start calling chuck steaks “Millennial’s ribeye”? HMU if you’d like to join my cause.
Reverse Seared Chuck Steak + Brandy Peppercorn Sauce
Notes: After you cook the steak in the oven, it can let it sit for up to two hours before searing. I like to make side dishes during this time.
You can double, triple, or even quadruple reverse seared chuck steak. I’ve successfully served this dinner to eight people!
Reverse Seared Chuck Steak + Brandy Peppercorn Sauce
- 1 1/2 lb chuck steak (1-1 1/2 in. thick)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
Brandy Peppercorn Sauce
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup brandy (or beef broth)
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp peppercorns, coarsely ground
For the Chuck Steak…
- Wrap a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Generously salt and pepper the steak, and place the steak on top of the cooling rack. Let it sit uncovered on the counter for an hour, or place it in the fridge uncovered overnight. (If you refrigerate the steak, let it come to room temperature for one hour before cooking).
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Place the steak in the oven, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers 105-110°F for medium-rare (120°F for medium-well), about 30-45 minutes. I start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. Once it reaches your desired temperature, the steak can sit on the counter for up to two hours before you finish cooking.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet (or another large non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil, and stir to coat the bottom of the pan. When it starts to smoke, place the steak in the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side until it’s very browned and develops a nice crust. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain.
For the Sauce…
- While the steak rests, make the sauce. Using the pan that you cooked the steak in, pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of pan drippings. Return the pan to the heat, add the shallot and garlic, and cook until soft. Stir in the flour, and cook for a minute to remove the raw flour taste. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and cook until it’s mostly reduced, about 2 minutes.
- Add the broth, and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, cooking until it’s reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, Dijon, and peppercorns, and simmer for about 2 minutes until it’s slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warm over steak!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Southern Nights by Whitney