This simple but flavorful sauce is a traditional dressing for steak au poivre, or peppercorn steak. However, the sauce is also nice with chicken or salmon. For added color, use a rainbow combination of white, red, green and black peppercorns.
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup cognac or other brandy
1 cup beef broth or stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked peppercorns
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shallots and sauté until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the brandy; cook until reduced. Add the beef broth (or stock) and bring to the boil. Continue to cook over high heat until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and peppercorns, while using the spoon or spatula to loosen any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Add the heavy cream and cook, stirring often, until thickened. Stir in the parsley and cook another minute. Remove from heat and transfer sauce into a serving bowl.