Rump cap au poivre

Steak au poivre, using rump cap.
Steak au poivre, using rump cap. Photo: Benjamin Dearnley
Dietary
Gluten-free

Beef rump seems to perplex even the most avid cooks, who say it can be tough, chewy or dry. Perhaps this is why it's cheaper. Cooked properly, though, you get a juicy steak with heaps of flavour. The key is to look for the rump cap, which has a lovely fat layer on the top, and to also bring it to room temperature before cooking. This allows you to cook it quickly so that it stays juicy and tender.

Ingredients

2 beef rump cap steaks, fat cap on, about 2cm thick (about 200g each)

salt

1 small eschalot, peeled and finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

2 tbsp brandy or cognac

75ml chicken or beef stock

75ml pouring cream

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

1. Bring the steak to room temperature and season with salt.

2. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Place the steaks in the pan so they stand up and rest on the fat cap to render the fat (draw out and melt the fat). When the fat has mostly rendered, lay the steaks on their sides and cook for 2 minutes each side for a medium-rare doneness (add 1 minute each side for medium and cook 4-5 minutes each side for well done). Remove the steaks from the pan and allow them to rest on a chopping board while you make the sauce.

3. Pour off most of the fat from the pan into a bowl to cool before you discard it. Lower the heat to medium and add the eschalot, garlic and peppercorns. Gently cook for 1-2 minutes. If the garlic and eschalot start to brown immediately, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to bring the temperature down a bit. Then, off the heat, add the cognac and allow the alcohol to burn off before replacing the pan on the stove and adding the stock and cream. Simmer until it has reduced by half. Finish with Dijon and Worcestershire and taste for salt.

4. Slice the steaks and serve with the pan sauce.

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