Steak au Poivre

This is a nice variation on a plain grilled steak. If you have never had Steak au Poivre, you might think that there is way too much pepper on the meat. That would be the case if the pepper were not cooked, which brings down the heat significantly. Some recipes I have seen suggest only peppering one side of the meat and cooking the pepper side last. You can do that if you feel you might want less pepper.

This is a dish that once started goes quickly. You need to have your mise en place ready to go. We cook this on the side burner of our outdoor grill because there is some smoking and spattering involved, and of course, the all-important flambe of the Cognac. That means all the other ingredients need to be brought outside. I usually just place everything on a large cutting board.IMG_2046.JPG

You want to make sure the steaks are trimmed and at room temperature. You want to salt them ahead of time.

We have a large mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns, but you can use the bottom of a cast iron pan, a pepper grinder will grind the pepper too fine.

We like to add some chopped shallot and parsley to the sauce.


Author: Jim Kirkley

Serves: 2

Steak au Poivre (Steaks with crushed peppercorns)


2 boneless New York Strip steaks – 10 oz each
salt to taste
2 tablespoons, black peppercorns
3 tablespoons, olive oil
5 teaspoons, butter
2 tablespoons, shallots – finely chopped
2 tablespoons, flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
1/3 cup, Cognac
1 cup, heavy cream


  1. Sprinkle the steaks with salt
  2. Using a mallet or the bottom of a heavy saucepan, crush the peppercorns but not too finely
  3. Sprinkle the steaks with equal amounts of pepper on both sides
  4. Press down with hands to help the peppercorns adhere to the meat
  5. Heat the oil and 1 Tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and when it is hot and almost smoking, add the steaks
  6. Cook about 3 minutes and turn
  7. Cook about 2 minutes or longer, if you wish your steaks well-done, and remove to a warm platter

    Let steaks rest while you prepare the sauce
  8. Pour the fat from the skillet and add 2 teaspoons of butter
  9. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until wilted
  10. Off the flame add the Cognac, return the pan to the flame and carefully tip the pan and flambe the Cognac and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until flame is gone
  11. Add the cream and cook over high heat about 1 minute
  12. Swirl in the remaining butter and chopped parsley and pour the sauce over the steaks
  13. Serves two

Serve with French Fries and a light salad

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