Southern Grounds Steak Frites


2 to 4 tenderloin steaks 6 to 8 ounces each (We use a hanging tenderloin which is not common at the grocery store.)

kosher salt

3 tablespoons whole peppercorns

1 tablespoon butter  

1 teaspoon olive oil

Au Poivre Sauce:

1/4 cup minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard

1/3 cup Padrillos Malbec

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


Remove the steaks from the refriger ator for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt. 

Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside. 

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for four minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil, and set aside. Pour off the excess fat, but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean. 

Return the pan to medium heat and add the shallots to the pan.  Sweat the shallots until translucent.  Add the wine to the pan and reduce down to au sec (almost dry).  Gently pour in the cream and continue to cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.  

Remove from heat and add the herbs to the sauce. Add salt to taste.


Slice the steaks into 1/4 inch slices, going against the grain (very important). Shingle on a prepared plate, and spoon au poivre sauce just to coat the steak. Serve with a simple arugula salad with poppy seed dressing, and parmesan fries.

Pair it with:

Finca de los Padrillos Malbec 2019

Grapes: 100% Malbec grapes from Mendoza, Argentina 

Description: A young wine with a fresh style, it is ideal to drink while young and robust. Violet floral aromas and flavors of plums, cherries, and dried berries precede a lingering aftertaste of white peppercorn.

Located in Mendoza, Argentina, Padrillos was founded by fourth-generation winemaker Ernesto Catena and inspired by Ernesto’s passion for horses. With more than 30 retired polo ponies on the vineyards, Padrillos wines express the wild spirit of Argentina’s true grape varieties. Over the years, Ernesto and his team designed their biodynamic farm and vineyard as a sculpture to be gazed upon from the sky, much like the cities of the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The vineyard is surrounded by natural flora and fauna that help them achieve a state of harmony and equilibrium.

Author: Arbus

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