Yesterday I brought your our Christmas Eve appetizers with a promise of further deliciousness today. Well folks, here it is. It just doesn’t get much better than this for me. Apparently this dinner is my responsibility next year. If that’s what is required of me in order to enjoy this meal from now on, I’m pretty sure I can accept the challenge.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, public for the first time, the Moors family Christmas dinner.
This dinner isn’t anything fancy or incredibly difficult to prepare. We stick with the Steak Au Piovre, which is pepper steak in fancy French talk, and twice baked potatoes. We’re meat and potatoes kind of people. My Father has been making this same thing for the last seven or eight years and it never gets old. The whole family looks forward to it every year.
Like I just said about 20 words ago, the preparation for the meal isn’t too fancy. The quality of the meat is the important thing here, with the seasonings and juices that eventually form adding a little flavor to go with it. The meat we tend to use are club steaks, which are cut from the short loin, next to the rib end, and when cut properly, they are delicious and tender steaks. Think of this as a T-bone steak without any of the choice tenderloin muscle in it. Depending on where you’re from, you might know these steaks as Delmonico steaks, though that name is more often used for rib-eye steaks.
Good quality meat is key, but another important aspect of the steak is fresh ground pepper. We picked up some fresh ground from the Spice Merchants in Ann Arbor which gives you a much better taste than simply relying on the same pepper you’ve had lying around for months. Past that, the only thing you really need is fresh parsley and chives, and some good Cogniac for the flambee at the end of the cooking process. By flambee, I mean pouring the Cogniac over the meat and setting it on fire. That’s the fun part.
I’ve already given you a look into this ancient family recipe, and by that I mean recipe that was pulled out of an ancient cookbook, so from here I will only offer photographic documentation.
That last picture may look a little rare, but that’s exactly how I enjoy my steak. I remember trying a steak in Paris a few years ago and being completely disgusted by how little it was cooked. Since then, I have really grown to appreciate a perfectly cooked steak. Now, it’s amazing to me how many people go into a restaurant and ask for their steak to be cremated. The less juices there are the less taste there is. Once your steak has been fried for a short time the juices are sealed into steak. From this point onward the heat is forcing those lovely juices out of the steak.
Just want to say special thanks to my Father for sharing this meal with us every year. The man doesn’t like to cook, but he sucks it up and makes this dinner for us every year. Also, thanks to Uncle Jim for some of the photography.