I love steak, but I loathe steakhouses. They are stuffy, pretentious, and just boring. Ray's the Steaks is the only steakhouse I enjoy, due largely to the laid back attitude there. I believe that good food is meant to be eaten in a fun, relaxing environment. So, I equally enjoy making steaks at home. Steak au poivre with mushrooms is my favorite and so incredibly easy. Just be careful not to overcook it, and bring the steaks to room temperature before it hits the hot skillet. Also, be sure to develop a nice char on both sides through high heat. Doing so will be the difference between a great steak and a mediocre one. Neil wanted me to point out that this charring is called "Pittsburgh Style" (his hometown), although I haven't confirmed the truth in that :)
A lot of grocery stores now sell prime grade steaks. The steak pictured is an Omaha steak that my cousin sent to us for Christmas. We were so surprised when we got a huge delivery of filet mignons, ribeyes, NY strips, burgers etc. Very cool gift!! The steaks from Omaha are very consistent, and the variety works out for us, because I like filet mignons while Neil likes ribeyes and NY strip.
Anyways, I served the filet pictured with potato gratin and creamed spinach. I posted the potato recipe, but the creamed spinach doesn't really have a recipe. I just use whatever creaming agents I have on hand. I believe for the one pictured, I had mascarpone lying around, so I creamed wilted spinach, garlic and shallots with mascarpone, milk, and parmesan. Cream cheese, heavy cream, evaporated milk, etc all work great for creamed spinach too.
Anyways, I hope you use this recipe to enjoy a fancy steak night at home.