Aux Poivres and Delicious Ways to Use It
First, a little history on delicious Aux Poivres. Over 1,000 years ago, the peppercorn was the star of the spice world. Marco Polo kept extensive records of where the peppercorn was harvested and sold, the Ancient Romans used the peppercorn as currency, fortunately, in the 17th century, peppercorns made their way into an increasing number of ports. Yet the peppercorn remains one of the humblest spices on today’s table.
Today, the peppercorn is used to add a savory zing to the finished dish. However, peppercorns can be more than the finishing product, they can be the star of the dish.
Know the peppercorns
Peppercorns come in three main categories: black, green and white. Black peppercorns are the most common variety and have the strongest, most pungent flavor. Green peppercorns are underripe black peppercorns with a slight spice and aromatic flavor. White peppercorns are black peppercorns with husks removed and a less pungent taste.
There are also Pink and Sichuan peppercorns. These two varieties are not true peppercorns. Pink peppercorns are berries from a South American shrub with a peppery bite and fruity undertones. Sichuan peppercorns are the seed of an ash shrub with a citrus undertone and heat that makes the mouth tingle.
Make an au poivres
Literally translated, au poivres means with peppers. The perfect peppercorn blend is our Spice Station Aux Poivres blend. Each color peppercorn adds a different dimension of flavor. Once the Aux Poivres is purchased, it is coarsely cracked and used to coat a high-quality protein.
The most popular dish utilizing this method is the French dish Steak au Poivre. The cracked peppercorns cover the steak in a thick crust which is seared at a high temperature with a small amount of oil and butter. The result is a rare to medium-rare, pepper-crusted steak.
Make a sauce au poivres
The Steak au poivres is finished with a luxurious sauce incorporating the pan fond, cognac, and heavy cream. In the same skillet, the cognac is flamed, then broth and cream are added and reduced. The resulting sauce is spooned over the steak and traditionally served with a potato side dish.
This rich sauce is not limited to Steak. A sauce au poivres is a simple, flavorful way to add dimension to salmon or pork dishes. The sauce au poivres is made by melting butter and sautéing shallots, then adding a peppercorn medley flamed with cognac and finished with broth and cream.
The sauce au poivres can also be modified to further compliment any dish. Using Dijon mustard, thyme, mushrooms, or any variety of add ins will personalize and balance the sauce to finish any dish.
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