Steak Au Poivre

This is a classic bistro dish and much simpler than it sounds. The meat will be expensive but steak au poivre is the kind of dinner that will have friends begging for another invite.


  • 2 Filet Mignon (or inch-thick tenderloin or strip steak)
  • Lots Black Pepper coarsley ground (or try crushing the peppercorns)
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil to lightly coat pan
  • 2 Pads Unsalted Butter
  • Shallot chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Cognac or Brandy (red wine will do in a pinch)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

prep / directions

Pat filets dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle with salt, and actually press the crushed black pepper into each side of the meat.
Heat the olive oil and one pad of the butter in a pan over medium high heat until very hot, almost smoking. Place steaks in the pan and turn heat down to medium. Sear meat for about 5 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other, for medium done. Then remove filets to a serving platter or plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil (they’ll continue cooking a bit more and stay warm).
Add the chopped shallots to the pan and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the cognac or brandy to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. If you want to get fancy and sear in the flavor, you can ignite the hot liquor with a match. It will flame up for a minute so watch your fingers! Then add the heavy cream, mix well and cook down until thickened, about 3 more minutes. Swirl in the last pad of butter and pour the sauce over the warm steaks. (If you use red wine, don’t flame it because wine doesn’t have enough alcohol).
Serve with baked potato fries and/or a simple green salad (see Great Sides). This is a winner.

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