Entrecôte à l’Anchoïade | Steak with Anchovy Butter
This steak with anchovy butter, called Entrecôte à l’Anchoïade, is a French classic composed of pan-seared rib eye steak infused with Cognac and butter and topped with an umami-rich sauce of anchovies, oil, garlic, fresh herbs, and red wine vinegar.
For the entrecôte (steaks)
Make the anchoïade
In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the anchovies and use the back of a spatula to mash them to pulpy bits as they sizzle. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, thyme, and, last, the vinegar, scraping the sides of the skillet with the spatula. Let the mixture cook until the vinegar has nearly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and very gradually whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to make a thick, emulsified sauce. If necessary, add a little more oil.
Make the steaks
In a heavy nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat, melt a scant tablespoon of butter until hot and sizzling. Carefully place the steaks in the skillet and cook until well seared, 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat slightly if the butter begins to brown too much. Use tongs to flip each steak and continue to cook to the desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes more for medium rare.
When the steaks are cooked to your likeness, swirl the remaining butter into the skillet and sprinkle a small pinch of salt over the steaks. (The anchovy sauce will provide the rest of the saltiness.) Using caution as it may flare, carefully pour the Cognac or brandy into the skillet and stand back. Let it simmer a minute or two so the alcohol cooks off. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Place the steaks on warm plates and spoon some of the pan juices over each. Dollop a small spoonful of anchoïade over each steak. (Anchoïade is wonderful yet intense. A little dab will do you.) Add a generous grind of black pepper and serve at once, passing the remaining anchoïade on the side. (You can keep any leftover anchoïade in the fridge and serve it with bread, raw crudités such as endive, cauliflower, and fennel, or boiled new potatoes.)