This “house sauce” sounds fancy in French but it’s just a simple pan sauce that takes only 3 ingredients I usually have on hand: garlic, blue cheese, and cognac.
If you're planning a special dinner for New Year's Eve, this elegant dish would make a delicious main course. Start the meal with a seasonal soup, follow the steak with a big green salad, and finish it with a stunning dessert.
To make the perfect steak, start with good quality grass-fed meat. Season it with sea salt and freshly ground pepper 24 to 48 hours in advance and bring it to room temperature before you cook it. Tender cuts of meat like steak are best cooked quickly over high heat until rare or medium rare. (Avoid cooking meats at high temperatures for longer than necessary. Well done meats have been linked to several kinds of cancer.)
You’ll need a saturated fat for high-temperature cooking. I used rendered duck fat but you could use another rendered fat (leftover from a roast, for example) or ghee. You could also use butter, but take care not to burn the milk solids. Avoid using oils that are liquid at room temperature (like olive oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil) because high temperatures quickly damage fragile unsaturated fatty acids.
1 grass-fed strip loin steak, or other steak, about a pound, pre-seasoned and at room temperature
Duck fat, lard, or butter
¼ cup cognac
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 clove garlic, grated
Add the fat to a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium- high heat. Once the fat is melted and the skillet is hot, add the steak. Cook it on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned and aromatic.
Turn it over and cook it until done, 3 to 4 minutes more for medium rare (depending on the thickness). Once it's cooked to perfection, remove the steak from the skillet, cover it loosely, and set it aside in a warm place.
Away from the stove, add the cognac to the skillet, then return it to the stove. Warm it over medium-low heat and use a whisk to incorporate any brown bits on the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Simmer until it has reduced by about half.
Add the blue cheese and grate in the garlic. Stir to combine everything thoroughly and cook for a few minutes more. Taste and make any necessary adjustments.
Slice the steak once it has rested for at least 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the top or serve it on the side.