Saturday, December 2, 2023

Suave Poivre

What's the best steak I've ever had? "Steak au Poivre," and I made it! Yes, I don't mean to gloat, but for my birthday menu, I had to pull out all the stops! Steak au Poivre is yet again, another French classic, that I adore and have been making for years! Basically, it is a tender cut of beef, like fillet, coated with crushed peppercorns and topped with a Cognac cream sauce. Yum! I served mine with mashed potatoes and harticot verts.

Because this is a fairly simple dish, the magic happens when you buy the steak. You must use the very best, highest quality, thickest steak you can find (aka., the most expensive). Now, I must tell you that depending on the thickness of your pan and the thickness of the steak, it is almost impossible to tell you an exact cook time, but I'll give you a good estimate. Click here for more information on cooking the perfect steak. Don't forget that you must let your steak rest 5 minutes before serving, which allows you time to make the sauce. Steak au Poivre is really easy, and absolutely delicious! Once you make it, you'll want to make it again, and again.

Steak au Poivre

Serves 4


5 tablespoons coarsely cracked peppercorns (Use a pepper mill set on a coarse grind, or place in a kitchen towel and bash with the bottom of a heavy pan or rolling pin.)
4 slices beef fillet, each 1 1/2-2" thick
Kosher salt
1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Cognac
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional, but I like it)
1 cup heavy cream


Spread the peppercorns on a plate. Moisten the meat very lightly on top and bottom with oil. Press the fillets into the cracked peppercorns, top and bottom. Push the peppercorns into the meat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the fillets with salt. Combine the 1/4 cup butter and oil in a heavy saute pan or frying pan over high heat. Do not use a non-stick pan or you won't have any fond. (The caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan.) When the pan is hot, add the fillets. Reduce the heat to medium high, and brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. (When searing meat, be careful to avoid blackening the fond or your sauce will taste burnt. Adjust the heat to medium high, so it will sear but not scorch the pan juices.)  Place the fillets on a separate pan and place in the oven until desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare, and so on. (Use the palm test!) Remove the pan from the oven, remove the steaks to a cutting board and let rest.

Meanwhile, pour off the excess fat from the heavy saute or frying pan and return to high heat. Remove the pan from the burner, carefully pour in the Cognac. Return to the burner. With a wooden spoon, deglaze or scrape the pan to dislodge any browned bits. Add the stock, mustard, if using, and the cream and reduce by half over high heat. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter, taste, season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Plate the fillets and pour that amazing sauce over each. Proudly serve!

If you missed my Birthday Menu, click here!


  1. I just made this last weekend for a house full of family, along with mashed potatoes and harticot verts! As always, it was amazing and all the fillets (which was more than I'm accustomed to cooking) turned out perfect! I finished the meal with Mini Pavlovas with Pastry Cream and Berries (recipe can be found on my site!) and a glass of Champagne! It was the perfect end to a decadent meal! Everyone loved it!

  2. Holy crap this is good!

    1. So glad you liked it! Thanks for visiting my site!

  3. Great. Definitely recommend.