Steak au Poirve is classic French recipe that creates a fantastic pan sauce in typical French style. Fresh ground black pepper, cream and beef tenderloin come together and cooked to perfection. Learn how make a pan sauce for chicken, shrimp, scallops and fish with a tutorial on this sauce technique. Delicious!
Steak au Poirve is my family’s all time favorite steak recipe. It is easy to prepare,delicious and goes well with mashed potatoes, white rice or mixed vegetables. Keep a fire extinguisher handy though, because you will be igniting the brandy in the pan. I’ve never needed it, but it’s better to be prepared.
This recipe touches on the basics of French cooking since you will be creating a pan sauce. After the steaks have cooked, turn off the heat. You are left with these wonderful “bits” called fond. Pour off the excess fat and add the brandy or cognac and ignite.
This will deglaze the pan while the brandy burns off. When the flames have subsided, add the cream and whisk to a nappe consistency. The sauce is incredible and the cream cuts the bite of the pepper for a nice contrast. Bon Appetit!
For this dish we have custom cut our own sirloin, strip steaks, tender loins and we have even used venison fillet. All have been excellent.
We use a coffee grinder that is dedicated to spice grinding to prepare the pepper corns for this dish. The fresher, the better! You want that fresh ground peppery bite in the cream sauce.
Here are some tips to making a great steak au poivre. Firstly you don’t want to use cold steaks right out of the refrigerator so take them out and let them rest on a plate for 30 to 60 minutes. Get crackin! Take those whole black peppercorns and either put them in a coffee grinder like we do above or you can use a mortar and pestle or a food mallet in a pie tin. However you want to get them cracked is fine. What you want to create is a crust of pepper on both sides of the steak before it goes into the pan.
Once you get the oil and butter hot put the steaks in for a nice sear on both sides or about 5 minutes per side. Take them out and let them rest. You turn off the flame and drain off any excess oil in the pan and you are left with lovely brown bits of goodness after cooking those steaks. Really you could have cooked chicken, shrimp, scallops or fish in a pan with those bit left to build your sauce from.
It is time to make a pan sauce so you need to deglaze the pan and lift those brown bits up with some brandy or cognac. Drop the brandy in the pan and light it but be careful. You may want to put on some fireproof gloves, keep eyebrows back, have a pan lid close by just in case it flares up too high. Whisk those bits off the bottom of the pan, get them soft and they will eventually dissolve into your sauce.
Once the alcohol cooks off and the flame dies down you can start making that classic French pan sauce and again this pan sauce can be adapted to many recipes. So, add in the cream and simmer until you reach that nappe consistency where it coats the back of a spoon. If you cook some chicken, scallops or shrimp in a pan you can deglaze it and then add your cream and simmer until it thickens to that perfect consistency. Add some other seasonings to the sauce and taste it while it thickens, it is a creative process. When the sauce is done you can add the steaks back to the pan and coat them with the sauce or serve it on the side.
If you want to explore some other French style recipes here are a few to bookmark for later or pin on Pinterest. The French patisserie fruit tart is easy to make and the cream filling just divine with a topping off fresh fruit of your choice and then glazed. If you are a soup lover then you have to try homemade French onion soup and learn a little about the history of the dish too. My all time favorite chicken dish has to be chicken tarragon that is cooked so tender and served with a creamy rich sauce.
WP Recipe Maker #7426
Steak au Poivre Recipe
Steak coated in fresh ground peppercorns, with a cream sauce accented with VSOP cognac. The creamy sauce tempers the intense flavor of the cracked black peppercorns. I like to use tellicherry black pepper in a spice mill for a really fresh flavor.
- 6 tenderloin steaks 4-6 oz oz each and about 1 1/2" thick
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp black pepper ground Tellicherry peppercorns ground
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup VSOP or Brandy
- In a spice mill grind the 3 tablespoons of Tellicherry peppercorns.
- Remove the steaks from the fridge and bring them to room temperature.
- In a round pie tin spread the ground peppercorns. Coat both sides of the steak and set aside.
- In a medium skillet put the olive oil and the butter on medium heat until it begins to smoke. Quickly cook each steak for about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate and cover them. Turn off the heat.
- Add VSOP to the pan and ignite the alcohol with a long match stick. (BE CAREFUL: Keep a pan lid close by or fire extinguisher, just in case!)
- When the flame dies down turn the heat on again to medium.
- Add the cream and slowly whisk until it begins to boil.
- The sauce will be ready when it reaches nappe consistency. What this means is that you need to put a spoon into the cream mixture and turn it over. Run your finger from the tip of the spoon to its widest part. It you achieve a clean line in the middle, then your sauce is ready.
- Now, add the steaks back into the pan and coat them with the sauce.