A Steak au Poivre recipe is easier than it sounds. A rich sauce flavored with mustard and peppercorns will make this a show stopper and it comes together in 15 minutes. Great for Father’s Day or Valentine’s dinner!
This Steak au Poivre recipe came about when I was searching for something to make for Father’s Day. Mike is always sending me recipes to try form the Wall Street Journal or Garden & Gun. Sometimes they can be a bit complicated, but most I’ll try out.
This recipe came from an article in the February 17, 2018 edition of the Wall Street Journal about the chefs from Franchette restaurant in Manhattan. Their specialty is French classics and they shared their recipe for Steak au Poivre. I figured they know what they’re doing so I gave it a try, I changed it up so that it’s a bit more practical and it is my go to recipe for special occasions.
The French technique is a bit different from how we typically prepare steaks. I coat them in salt and pepper and hand them off to Mike to grill. But, with these, you’ll first sear the steak, then put it in the oven to finish cooking. This keeps the steak from drying out and seals in the flavor.
Once you remove them from the oven, you’ll prepare this amazing au poivre sauce in the same skillet with all the yummy flavor from the steak and seasonings.
The ingredients are simple, just shallots, thyme, garlic, cream, Cognac and a little mustard, and the method of cooking is not only easy but enhances all the flavors. The dish is heavenly. So good that we made it again right away when Natalie was home visiting. I’ll have to bring this back out for Father’s Day and give Mike a break from the grill.
Why you’ll love steak au poivre
- You’ll learn a French technique for cooking steak other than using your grill.
- This creamy sauce is so simple but amazing.
- It can be done in 15 minutes in just one pan!
What you’ll need
- Steaks – fillet mignon is my first choice, but rib-eyes will also be delicious.
- Black peppercorns – this is what makes it a steak au poivre. You need about ¼ cup to coat the steaks.
- Brined green peppercorns – zestier than black peppercorn and a delicious addition to the cream sauce. These can be hard to find, I have to order them on Amazon. A delicious substitution is capers. While they don’t taste the same, the tart flavor from the capers is similar to what you will get with brined green peppercorns and they are much easier to find.
- Fresh thyme – fragrant and delicious when paired with the sauce ingredients, this is my favorite herb.
- Shallots – a mild onion perfect for an au poivre sauce.
- Cognac – this will enrich the sauce and adds a unique slightly sweet flavor. While some of the alcohol will cook out, it takes 3 hours for all of the alcohol to be removed from a sauce.
- Grapeseed oil – this has a higher smoke point and will reduce the smoke when removing the hot skillet from the oven. Olive oil is my second choice.
- Pantry staples – dijon mustard, heavy cream, garlic
How do you make this steak au poivre recipe
Spread crushed black peppercorns on a plate and press both sides of the steaks in the peppercorns.
Place a large oven proof skillet over high heat and add oil. When it’s hot, add steaks and sear for 3 minutes on one side. Flip and add garlic and thyme and sear for 3 minutes. Put in the oven and let cook for about 4 minutes. While cooking in the oven, the oil can start to smoke, which is why using grapeseed oil is helpful.
Remove steaks to a cutting board. To the skillet, add shallots and saute over medium high heat until soft, about 2 minutes.
Remove pan from the stove and add Cognac. Return pan back to the pan and whisk in cream, mustard, and green peppercorns or capers. Simmer until it thickens about 5 minutes.
Slice steaks and pour the sauce over them.
Pro tip: By using a meat thermometer you can cook them to the exact temperature you prefer. 140º is medium and gives a pink but not red center, 130º for medium rare and 150º for medium well.
- If you don’t have a coffee or spice grinder, you can place the black peppercorns in a ziploc and pound them with a meat hammer.
- If you cannot locate brined green peppercorns, you can use capers.
- This version of au poivre uses heavy cream in the sauce, a lower fat product will not thicken but will still give you a creamy sauce.
Since it comes together so quickly it’s great for when you’re having friends over. Try serving with roasted potatoes, a little of the sauce on the potatoes is divine!
What to serve with your steak
FAQs and tips
Steak au poivre originates from France.
Au poivre means prepared with coarsely ground pepper.
Fresh green peppercorns spoil easily so in order to use them in cooking, they are picked and then added to a vinegar and salt brine. If you cannot locate these peppercorns, then you can use capers.
Cognac is a versatile alcohol that is a popular culinary staple in both sweet and savory recipes. It enriches sauces and pairs well with meat, figs, cheeses and more.
The filet mignon is a traditional cut of beef used in this recipe, but it can easily be substituted with rib-eye or a sirloin cut.
More Delicious Dinners
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Steak Au Poivre Sauce
- 4 5 oz filet mignon steaks/ rib-eyes 1 inch thick
- ¼ cup black peppercorns crushed
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 shallots minced
- ½ cup cognac
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons brined green peppercorns rinsed
- Preheat oven to 425º.
- Spread crushed peppercorns on a plate and press both sides of the steaks in the peppercorns. Place large oven proof skillet over high heat and add oil. When it is hot, add steaks and sear for 3 minutes on one side. Flip and add garlic and thyme and sear for 3 minutes. Turn on the edges next to sear them also.
- Transfer skillet to preheated oven and roast for about 4 minutes or 140º for medium. Transfer to a cutting board but reserve juices in the pan. Remove garlic and thyme from pan.
- Add shallots to skillet and saute over medium high heat until soft, about 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from the stove and add Cognac. Return pan to the medium heat. Whisk in cream, mustard, and green peppercorns. Simmer until it thickens about 5 minutes.
- Pour over resting steaks.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute capers for green peppercorns.
- If you don’t have a pepper grinder, place the black peppercorns in a ziplock and crush with a hammer.
- Grapeseed oil will reduce the amount of smoke when the steaks are in the oven, olive oil is a second choice.
- This recipe only takes a few minutes so have everything ready to be added before you start.
- Be careful when adding Cognac to the hot skillet, it can flame up. To avoid this, turn the gas off if using a gas stove and slowly add the Cognac.