For the steak:
2 skirt, flat-iron or sirloin steaks (10 ounces each)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
3 tablespoons freshly cracked peppercorns (or more, to taste)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 shot cognac
1/2 cup beef stock or veal stock
For the herbs de Provence oven fries:
3 all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed and dried
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence (2 palmfuls) or 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Salt, to taste
For the steak: Drizzle the steaks with EVOO, season with salt and dredge all sides of the steaks in the peppercorns. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add 2 tablespoons butter and the steaks and brown on all sides Once the steaks are cooked to desired doneness, remove from the pan and set aside to rest. Put the pan back on the stove over medium heat (with all the good steaky bits and things left in the pan). Deglaze the pan with cognac, then add the stock and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Pour the pan gravy over the steaks. Serve, eat and be happy! For the herbs de Provence oven fries: Pre-heat oven to 500°F.
Cut the potatoes into thin wedges and place on a cookie sheet. Coat the potatoes in a thin layer of oil, then sprinkle very liberally with the herbs. Toss the potatoes to coat evenly. Roast the potatoes for 25 minutes, until crisp and golden at the edges. Season with salt, to taste.