Steak au Poivre

A classic French dish that seems much more difficult and impressive than it really is, especially this version. I simplified this recipe a ton – you can add thyme, shallot, and garlic, cut as finely as possible (brunoise) – but fresh whole peppercorns are a necessity. I wrote this recipe for two steaks, but cutting down the amount of brandy and halving the amount of cream will make it an elaborate meal for one.

Steak au Poivre

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French


  • Strip steak, ribeye, or filet
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/3 c brandy or cognac
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T peppercorns


  • In mortar and pestle or Ziploc crush peppercorns into small pieces. If you struggle to do that, turn grinder to coarsest setting and season steak.
  • Remove steak from fridge and season all sides of steak with salt and crushed peppercorns, let sit for half an hour at room temperature.
  • In skillet over high heat, add butter. Then steak.
  • Cook through, 3-4 minutes a side, depending on how thick the steak is and how you like it cooked. I prefer it just under medium-rare, for reference.
  • Once steak is cooked through, remove from pan and turn to medium heat. Deglaze with alcohol, scraping off browned pieces with a whisk or rubber scrapper. Add the cream, stirring as you do. Bring it to a boil until thickened, 5 or so minutes.
  • Season with salt.
  • Add steak(s) back to pan, spoon sauce over. Serve.
Keyword sauce, steak