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Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre


  • 2 8-10 oz cuts of filet mignon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 finely diced shallot (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • Take the steaks out of the fridge and let sit for about 30 - 45 minutes before cooking. Place the peppercorns in a plastic bag or wrap in a thin dishtowel and beat with a meat tenderizer (or some other hard object, like the bottom of a skillet) until the corns coarsely break up. Sprinkle salt evenly over the cuts of meat. Place the crushed corns in a shallow dish and roll each uncooked steak in the peppercorns, roughly covering all sides.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over just below high heat until heated through. Add two tablespoons of butter and swirl to cover the bottom of the skillet. Place the steaks in and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. Cook longer if you'd like your steak medium well to well. Remove steaks from the skillet and cover in a light foil tent to keep warm and let rest.
  • Turn the heat in the skillet to medium and add the shallots and rest of the butter. Stir until the shallots tenderize and release moisture. Turn the heat off (and maybe grab a pan lid just in case) and add the brandy, standing a step or two away from the stove. Let the flame die down and the alcohol burn off, then stir and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the cream and whisk until well incorporated. Serve the sauce drizzled over the steaks, and reserve any leftovers for dipping bread in or drizzling over potatoes.


  • For the salt, I used freshly cracked sea salt. If you're using table salt, I'd advise using less than a teaspoon since it tends to be more concentrated.
  • Also, any heavy-bottomed skillet should work well for this recipe. Some people say cast-iron is better, but we've used alternatives and have always had success.