Go to Home page.

Go to the Recipe Archive.

Go to My Blog.

Go to the Lazy Man Meals page.

About my recipes.

Go to the About the Cook page.

Go to the Contact page.


Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre

Download the recipe PDF. View the YouTube video. View the Printer Friendly version.

Serves 4.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a friend’s recipe.

A friend of mine called to say he had four beef tenderloin steaks and we should make Steak au Poivre, a French preparation. He had the recipe, so I invited him to prepare the steaks while I prepared the vegetable side dishes. These steaks are crusted with cracked peppercorns before searing in a hot skillet. A Cognac reduction is used with heavy cream to make a sauce.


4 steaks, beef tenderloin or filet mignon, about 6 ounces (170g) each and about 1½ inches (4cm) thick
2 to 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon butter, preferably clarified
1 tablespoon pure olive oil, for frying
1/3 cup (80ml) Cognac or other brandy
1 cup (237ml) heavy cream


Allow the steaks to come up to room temperature, about 30 minutes, and then season on both sides with salt.

Place the peppercorns in a sturdy plastic bag and then pound with the smooth surface of a tenderizing mallet to break into a coarse crack. Arrange on a plate. Press each steak into the crushed peppercorns to coat both sides.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet, bringing up to a temperature of about 375°F (191°C). Sear the steaks in the hot skillet and cook to the desired level of doneness. For medium-rare steaks, cook to an internal temperature (use a digital thermometer) of 125°F (52°C)*. Remove the skillet from the flame. Transfer the steaks to a plate and tent with foil. Letting the steaks rest will allow the surface heat to migrate into the center of the steaks, raising the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees.

While the steaks are resting, spoon off and discard most of the fat from the skillet. Add the brandy to the pan. Return to the flame and ignite carefully with a long match or by holding close to the flame. The brandy could flame up violently; so stand back. Allow the brandy to flame, gently shaking the skillet, until the flame goes out. Reduce the heat to medium and add the heavy cream. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer 4 to 5 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Adjust for salt.

Arrange the steaks on plates and garnish with the Cognac reduction sauce. Serve with your favorite vegetable side dish.

*Although the USDA recommends cooking all cuts of meat to a minimum temperature of 145°F (63°C), many cooks will risk a slightly lower temperature to enjoy a more tender cut of beef.