Steak Au Poivre Recipe (Peppercorn Steak)

Amazing Steak au Poivre Recipe: How To Cook a Steak

chef jean pierre 200x200 1Chef Jean-Pierre
Hello friends! In celebration of Bastille Day, I wanted to share with you what is undoubtedly the most popular French steak of all time, Steak Au Poivre! Not only is it the most popular French steak ever, but it is my favorite steak. And the great thing about Steak au Poivre is it's delicious no matter what day of the year it is.
So come and celebrate with me and make some Steak Au Poivre. Your friends and family are going to love it! I promise.
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2 Servings

Recipe Video

Recipe Ingredients

For the Steaks:

  • 1 tablespoon Clarified Butter (or cooking oil like Avocado or Vegetable Oil)
  • 2 teaspoons Cracked Black Peppercorn
  • 2 8 to 10 ounces NY Strip (or your favorite steak)
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac (optional)
  • ½ cup Rich Veal or Beef Stock
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Green Peppercorn without the brine soaked in Cognac (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons at least Sweet Butter

For the Zucchini Julienne:

  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Butter
  • 1 or 2 Zucchinis depending on their size cut into thick julienne
  • 1 tablespoon Sundried Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shallots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Potatoes:

  • 12 small Potatoes peeled
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Recipe Instructions

Prepare the Steaks:

  • If you have the time, salt your steaks on both sides and set in the fridge on a rack not covered and leave them for at least 4 hours up to 48 hours.
    Steak au Poivre Recipe - Best steaks to use - Peppercorn Steak

Preheat Oven to 500ºF / 260ºC 

  • The next day or when ready to cook, cover the steak generously with cracked black pepper.  
    Steak au Poivre Seasoning Your Steak Peppercorn Steak
  • In a stainless steel or cast iron sauté pan, heat clarified butter.  When hot (400ºF/205ºC) add the steak, and cook on the stove top until golden brown on one side at Least 3 to 4 minutes.  DO NOT TOUCH THEM.  Flip them on other side and for a couple minutes and transfer to the oven and cook for a few more minutes depending on how thick and how your like your meat cook.
  • Remove them from oven and let them rest on a plate for a few minutes while you make the sauce.  
    Steak au Poivre - Let your steaks rest - Peppercorn Steak
  • In the same pan, carefully deglaze the pan with the cognac, stock, cream and the peppercorns (if you have them) bring to boil and let it reduce for a few minutes until it has reached the right consistency.  Turn off the heat and add as much butter as you wish! 
    Steak au Poivre Adding butter to the peppercorn sauce Peppercorn Steak
  • Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.

Prepare the Zucchini Julienne:

  • In a Non Stick Fry Pan, heat the butter, when hot add the zucchini and sauté for a couple minutes.  Add the shallots and sundried tomatoes.  When they are cooked (tender but not too soft) add the garlic and the last minute.
    Steak au Poivre Recipe - julienne zucchini Side - Peppercorn Steak

Prepare the Potatoes:

  • Poach the potatoes until they are fully cooked, drain them and place them on a paper towel to make sure they are dry.
  • In a small Non Stick Fry Pan, heat the butter and when hot add your potatoes and cook them until light golden brown on all sides.

Frequently Asked Questions About Steak Au Poivre

What is Steak au Poivre?

Steak au Poivre is a traditional French dish. It consists of a steak, traditionally a filet mignon or a strip steak, coated with loosely cracked peppercorns and then cooked. The peppercorns form a crust on the steak when cooked and provide a pungent but complementary counterpoint to the rich flavor of the high-quality beef. The steak is typically served with a cognac cream sauce.


What does Steak au Poivre mean?

Steak au Poivre” simply means ‘Steak with Pepper’, which is a classic French dish loved around the world.


Is Steak au Poivre and Pepper Steak the same thing?

While “Steak au Poivre” does technically translates to “Pepper Steak,” the two dishes are not always the same. Pepper Steak can refer to a number of dishes in different cuisines. In the context of Chinese-American cuisine, for instance, Pepper Steak is a stir-fry dish made with bell peppers and sliced steak. Steak au Poivre, on the other hand, refers specifically to the French dish involving a whole steak crusted with peppercorns and often served with a cognac cream sauce.


What is the best steak to use to make Steak au Poivre Recipe?

While the traditional cuts of meat for the Steak au Poivre Recipe are filet mignon or strip steak, you can certainly experiment with other cuts. Just keep in mind that the tenderness and texture may vary depending on the cut you choose. For the best results look for quality cuts that are well-marbled and tender, these would include rib-eye, or sirloin.


Should I use bone-in or boneless steak for this recipe?

You can use either, but boneless steaks are easier to work with, and the cooking times are more predictable.


How do I know when my steak is cooked to my desired level of doneness?

The best way to tell if your steak is cooked to your desired doneness is to use an instant meat thermometer.

For a Medium-Rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of about 130-135°F (which is equivalent to 54.4-57.2°C).

For a Medium steak, the temperature should be about 135-145°F (equivalent to 57.2-62.8°C).

For a Well-Done steak, the internal temperature should be anything above 145°F (which is equivalent to 62.8°C).


Is it necessary to let the steak rest before slicing?

Absolutely. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making it more flavorful and juicy.


Can I make Steak au Poivre without cream?

Yes, you can. The cream can be substituted with other dairy products like half-and-half or even yogurt for a lighter sauce. Alternatively, you can also use a roux-based sauce for a dairy-free option.


What can I use instead of cognac when making Steak au Poivre?

If you need a non-alcoholic substitute, apple juice or grape juice can be used. However, if you’re looking for an alcoholic substitute that isn’t cognac, a good quality brandy or a dry red wine for a slightly different flavor profile


Can I use green or white peppercorns for this recipe?

Yes, you can, but it will change the flavor profile. Black peppercorns are traditional and provide a spicy kick.


What side dishes should I serve with Steak au Poivre?

Steak au Poivre can be served with a variety of side dishes. Some traditional choices are green beans, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad. Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Potatoes au Gratin are also excellent with Steak au Poivre.


What are the best drinks to serve with Steak au Poivre?

A bold, full-bodied red wine is typically a good pairing with steak. For Steak au Poivre, you might consider a French Bordeaux or a California Cabernet Sauvignon. If you prefer beer, a dark and robust beer like a stout or porter could stand up to the strong flavors of the steak and peppercorns.


What is the best way to store leftover Steak au Poivre?

Leftover Steak au Poivre should be cooled to room temperature, then covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to consume the leftovers within 3-4 days.


Can I freeze Steak au Poivre?

Yes, you can freeze Steak au Poivre, but the texture of the meat and sauce may change upon defrosting and reheating. To freeze, allow the steak to cool completely, then place in a freezer-safe container or bag, removing as much air as possible. It should be good in the freezer for 2-3 months.


What is the best way to reheat Steak au Poivre?

For the best results, thaw frozen Steak au Poivre in the fridge overnight if possible.

Reheating Steak au Poivre that has been stored in the refrigerator should be done gently to maintain the quality of the steak and prevent it from drying out. Here’s a good way to reheat it:

1) Preheat your oven to a low temperature, about 250-275°F (120-135°C). You want to heat the steak slowly to prevent it from drying out.

2) Place the steak on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. The rack allows for even heating.

3) Heat the steak in the oven until it reaches your desired temperature. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the steak and how well done you prefer it, but plan on about 20-30 minutes for a medium-rare steak.

4) For the sauce, you can gently reheat it in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. If the sauce has thickened too much during storage, you can thin it with a small amount of cream or broth.

Remember, the goal is to heat the steak, not cook it further, so a low and slow method like the oven is typically better than trying to rush it on the stove or in the microwave.


What kind of meals can I make with leftover Steak au Poivre?

Leftover Steak au Poivre can be repurposed into a number of delicious dishes. Here are just a few ideas:

Steak Salad: Slice the steak thinly and serve it over a bed of mixed greens along with your favorite salad toppings. The peppery steak pairs well with a simple vinaigrette.

Steak Sandwich: Again, thinly slice the steak and layer it on a baguette or other crusty bread along with some caramelized onions, cheese, and a smear of the reheated au Poivre sauce. Toast the sandwich in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty.

Steak Tacos: Dice the steak and warm it gently. Use it as a filling for tacos, along with avocado, pico de gallo, and a bit of sour cream or crema. The peppery steak will give a nice twist to your taco night.

Steak and Eggs: For a hearty breakfast or brunch, slice the steak and serve it alongside some scrambled or fried eggs. A side of home fries or toast can complete the meal.

Steak Fried Rice: Dice the steak and stir it into fried rice near the end of the cooking process. The pepper crust on the steak will add a nice pop of flavor to the rice.

Remember that since the steak is already cooked, it should be added toward the end of the cooking process or used in a way that doesn’t require additional cooking to prevent it from becoming tough or overcooked.

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