Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre

Steak au poivre is a classic preparation for sauteed steak. Here Julia Child and Jacques Pépin update the steak by using a mixture of black, green, white and Jamaican peppercorns, which is really allspice. A saute of mushrooms and a full-bodied red wine are a fine match.–Julia Child and Jacques Pépin

LC Jacques and Julia Note

Jacques and Julia. Now that was a duo, eh? Sorta like the superheros of the French kitchen. They should have had capes.

Steak au Poivre

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes two 6 to 7 ounce steaks
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home cookbook

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Ingredients

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  • For the steak
  • One 1-pound thick-cut, well-marbled strip steak about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons mixed whole peppercorns, including black, white, green, Szechuan and Jamaican (whole allspice)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • For the pan sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac (or bourbon or red wine)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or dark chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For the garnish
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • Watercress

Directions

  • Sear the steak
  • 1. Trim the steak of any excess fat. Cut the meat into 2 pieces and crush the peppercorns using a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or 1the bottom of a heavy skillet.
  • 2. Sprinkle salt to taste on the top and bottom of the steaks, then press each side of each steak into the cracked peppercorns, encrusting the steaks lightly or heavily, as you prefer.
  • 3. Heat the oil and the butter in a heavy saute or frying pan over high heat. When the pan is quite hot, add the peppered steaks. Fry for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the undersides are well seared. Turn the meat and cook the second side for 1 to 2 minutes. Press with a finger to test for the slight springiness that indicates rare. Cook to the desired doneness and transfer to a warm platter to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Make the pan sauce
  • 4. A few minutes before you intend to eat, return the pan with the drippings to medium heat. Add the shallots and saute briefly, stirring with a spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet. Lean away from the stove (averting your face) and carefully pour the Cognac into the pan. Tilt the edge of the pan slightly over the burner flame, to ignite the alcohol or light it with a match. The Cognac will flame for a few seconds as the alcohol burns off. When the flames die down, cook for a few moments more and then add the stock. Bring the liquid back to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Finally, add the soft butter, tilting the pan until the butter melts and is incorporated with the pan juices.
  • 5. Pour the poivre sauce over the steaks. Sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley and garnish each plate with sprigs of parsley or watercress.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This is my favorite way to eat a steak, but I'd never made it at home. This recipe is one I would make again any time. The steak took almost no time at all to cook. I had everything prepared and ready to go so it was a smooth process from beginning to end. The sauce was full of flavor and the perfect complement to the peppered steak.

Next time I will not sprinkle it with parsley, as I felt it was more of a garnish and really wasn't needed. I served this with baked potatoes and salad and it was perfect. I love it when there's just two of us for dinner and I can make a cozy meal like this for the two of us.

I love steak au poive. Love. It. There's a French restaurant in town that my husband and I like to go to and I always tell myself that this time I am getting something different than the steak au poive dinner they serve with fantastic potatoes and broccoli rabe. I rarely get something different. So, when this recipe popped up I was pumped to bring one of my favorite meals to the house. It was a bit of a chaotic meal and not near as relaxing as going out to fancy date night dinner (quickly eating steak while your toddler is walking in circles around the table trying to get the dog to drink from her milk cup isn't exactly what I was hoping for) but this recipe is pretty classic and serves up that rich umami flavor that is so loved in this recipe. We roasted up some baby potatoes and I steamed (okay, I popped it in the microwave) some sugar snap peas for a quick side. Fully recommend this meal whether for a nice date night in or a fancy dinner while chaos ensues around you.

Steak thickness was 1 inch. I used 2 New York strips. I seared both of my steaks for 2 1/2 minutes on each sides to achieve that really rich crust that I was looking for on the steak. We cooked both our steaks to medium. Total cooking time on high heat was 5 minutes.

This made 2 servings for us. GOOD servings. I think depending on what your dinner plans, you could easily stretch it to 3 and just boost the sides.

We have access to a wonderful meat market where we get beautiful steaks, which usually get earmarked for the Big Green Egg. I happened to have a very large 14.6-ounce New York Strip that I thought would be perfect for this recipe.

Trimming the excess fat from the steak really helped to cut down the spatter when it hit the hot pan. My steak was 1 inch thick and I seared the two pieces for 2 minutes on each side, to our desired medium-rare, and then transferred them to a warm oven to rest while I made the sauce.

I’ve never flamed liquor before and was excited about the prospect, but ultimately chickened out for fear of catching the house (or myself!) on fire. I used bourbon for the sauce and just cooked it down a bit before adding the stock and continued on as directed.

All the timings were spot on for each step, and the perfectly portioned steaks were melt-in-your-mouth fabulous!!! The very flavorful poivre sauce turned these steaks into a restaurant-worthy entrée which can be prepared at home in under 30 minutes. I served these steaks with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed haricot verts. A very pretty and impressive dinner! We gave this recipe a perfect “10” rating!

I've made Steak au Poivre several times in the past as it's one of my favourite ways to make steak for date night. I was intrigued with this recipe as the recipes I've followed in the past ask for a bit of heavy cream where as this recipe didn't so I couldn't wait to try it and I'm so glad that I did. I don't think I'll ever go back to using cream.

I used the peppercorn mix except Jamaican. I ended up using my mortar on the cutting board as I found it a bit difficult using the heavy skillet

I seared the steak for 3 minutes on one side and then flipped it and seared it another 3 minutes on high heat in a cast iron pan. However the steak still wasn't medium rare (it was pretty rare in the middle) so I had to finish it off in the oven for 3 minutes at 425°F and it turned out perfectly.

I did use cognac; however I didn't flame it.

This recipe has replaced my go-to Steak au Poivre as I really enjoyed the sauce. It tasted rich and creamy (the butter helped) and really complemented the peppered steak. The mix of peppercorns really made a difference as prior I had just used black peppercorns.

This Steak au Poivre was an excellent change to our weekday routine. It came together quickly and we enjoyed it immensely.

I served it with some thick cut fries and asparagus, which both were improved by being mixed in with the sauce. When what I thought was Cognac on the shelf turned out to be something else, I substituted some red wine, per the instructions, and was very happy with the results, though the Cognac would also be lovely.

Overall, this is a steak recipe that tastes fancier than the effort involved in its cooking, which is a weekday win!

This steak was outstanding! Cooking it, I felt like a real French chef! I even flambéed the sauce for a real show! I never would have thought that a recipe like this would be a quick, easy weeknight dinner, but this absolutely was and surpassed my expectations.

The list of ingredients are so simple that you likely have them in your pantry, and it all comes together in a flash. I coated them in black and pink peppercorns—I highly recommend this combo! My steaks were 1 inch thick and I seared them for 2 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak. They turned out so tender and the sauce was delicious. I served this with a side of arugula and roasted potatoes. My belly is so happy!!

I used Armagnac in place of Cognac (my husband told me it's the same thing but not as expensive as the premium cognac he nearly caught me using!).

I seared the steaks for 2 mins on each side and then also gave the fat cap on the side a quick sear. Mine were cooked to medium-rare.

I did ignite the alcohol—what a show! May be good to instruct cooks to turn the heat down after it ignites.

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Comments

  1. Love this recipe. Originally I tried a variation using cream. In doing so I fried the steaks, then I added the beef stock and reduced it down a bit first, BEFORE adding the cognac and cream. Does adding cognac and igniting/burning the alcohol off before adding/reducing the stock make a significant difference when making a reduction sauce?

    1. Hi Matt, igniting (or reducing) the alcohol deepens the complexity of the flavors. In this particular recipe, a deep stock is used and the resultant sauce is only cooked for a minute or so, not long enough to develop the richness of the cognac.

    1. Hi, Kristiina. Thanks for the kind words. Any good stock recipe is fine. The most important thing when making the stock is to roast the bones in order to make it dark and rich.

  2. I was wondering at what point would I add mushrooms? Or should I do it completely seperately and add it at the end?

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