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Pan-fried steak with creamy mushroom & green peppercorn sauce

When you’re going to serve steak for a special occasion, buy the best you can afford. A properly aged steak just tastes ten times better and you can be sure to get raving reviews without having to know too many tricks. With this mushroom & green peppercorn sauce, the steak becomes a dish fit for royalty. You’ll be licking the saucepan, so rather make more than you think you might eat! Note: Find a jar of green peppercorns in the pickled section of your supermarket.

Pan-fried steak with creamy mushroom & green peppercorn sauce with Spier Frans K Smit red blend

(serves 4, prep/cooking time: 30 minutes)

For the sauce:
•    60 ml butter
•    15 ml olive oil
•    400 g brown or portabellini mushrooms, sliced
•    30 ml green peppercorns
•    250 ml fresh cream
•    salt & pepper to taste

For the steak:
•    about 200-300 g steak per person
•    30 ml olive oil
•    salt & pepper to taste

Make the sauce first: In a large wide pan, heat the butter and olive oil over high heat. Fry the mushrooms until brown, then add the peppercorns and fry for another minute. Add the cream and let it bubble and reduce for about 3-5 minutes. Don’t let it reduce away completely. Season with salt & pepper and set aside, covered, until your steak is ready.

For the steak: Heat an flat iron steak or griddle over high heat until smoking hot. While you’re waiting, brush the steaks on both sides with olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper. Place the steaks in the hot pan and fry for 3 and a half minutes on each side for medium-rare (or to your liking). Remove and let it rest in a plate for 3 minutes. Serve hot, topped with the sauce, with or without salad and other sides.

Serve with a glass of Spier Frans K Smit red blend.

About the wine
A monster of a wine from the tiniest vintage cellar master Frans Smit has ever worked with. This 5-year-old gave him just 6500 bottles and has the makings of a long-distance runner ̶ with soft, rounded tannins. This is only his 2nd Merlot-based vintage since 2004. When a Merlot yield is good, it’s king; Frans’ personal default choice. He always push for Merlot when the vintage is good. 2012 was brilliant for Merlot, which sings through the layers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

(Recipe: Ilse van der Merwe, Photography: Tasha Seccombe)

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