The Don Draper Special, with green peppercorn sauce and rosemary mashed potatoes

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My two favorite things: Cook’s Illustrated and Safeway’s discount meat bin. I have them to thank for tonight’s tasty meal.

A couple weeks ago I picked up some filet mignon, 1.5 inches thick, and froze them for later use. I had no idea how to cook them. In my house, steaks are usually the “man’s work” because I don’t care to set up the grill and haven’t perfected the art of cooking steak perfectly. So for this meal, I turned to my other boyfriend, Best Recipes.

With the help of a couple recipes and instruction from Best Recipes, here’s what happened:

Ingredients: steak, olive oil, salt and pepper, green peppercorns, beef stock, shallot, red wine, parsley.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking pan on the bottom-middle rack.

Heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat until really hot (not nonstick). Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry, drizzle with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.

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When the pan is hot, sear the steaks, 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer the steaks to the pan in the oven and bake for around 6 minutes for medium rare. When done, put them on a plate and tent with foil. While the steaks are cooking, prepare the sauce…

Put the same skillet on medium heat and toss in one shallot, chopped fine. Sautee for a couple minutes, just until soft (you may need to add a little oil to help it work). Add one can of beef stock or chicken stock and whisk. Add in about 1/2 c. red wine and 1 tablespoon of cracked green peppercorns.

Keep it simmering until it’s reduced to about half, then stir in 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley.  Add in any juices that have leaked onto the resting steak plate and whisk.

For the potatoes, chop up two to three peeled baking potatoes (three was more than enough for two people). Boil them until soft and start mashing with 2 T butter, 1/3 c. sour cream and one sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste (or make them however you like!).

To serve, spoon some taters on a plate, add the steak and top with the sauce. Now, drink the rest of that bottle of red wine!

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