(This post is part of a series that begins here.)

Our fourth course was Steak au Poive (steak with pepper). Beef tenderloin, cooked to medium, was plated atop a mound of rainbow wild rice “succotash.”

The non-traditional succotash included a few Southern staples, Petit Jean bacon and purple hull peas.

Fresh-from-the-cob corn, chopped grape tomatoes, and a wild rice blend cooked with garlic and onion completed the mix.

The steak was finished with a generous spoonful of decadently rich sauce. The sauce was compounded from beef stock, cognac, and almost more butter than one can imagine.

(Seriously, I wrote down the ratio: 1/2 cup stock to approximately 3/4 a pound of butter.)

As you can imagine, it was good.

-Combine your beef trimmings with salt, pepper, thyme, onion, garlic, celery, and water and simmer for 3 days to create a flavorful beef broth.
-Build flavor every chance you get. Cook rice in broth with aromatics, cook vegetables in bacon fat,experiment with adding liqueurs, and heavily salt and pepper your meat.
-Let classics inspire you and then reinvent them, as in the succotash.
-Fresh, local produce doesn’t need a lot of fuss to be good.