Steak Au Poivre


What is it about Steak Au Poivre that drives folks to distraction? I really can’t think of a more romantic dish, and when I’m feeling my most loving, I pull this one out of my arsenal. My recipe calls for a Porterhouse cut (or a T-bone steak). I’ve been told that it is a bit decadent for Steak au Poivre… but I think my honey is worth it. :)

Now, this recipe is a little on the advanced side, because it involves flambeing the Cognac in the dish. If you are too scared to start a controlled fire in your kitchen, just cook the cognac for a minute longer.


  • Prep Time: 5 – 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 – 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 – 30 minutes


  • spice grinder
  • paper towels
  • wooden spatula or tongs
  • large skillet
  • stove
  • *long kitchen matches (if you are using an electric range)
  • plate covered with aluminum foil


1 tbsp of tri-colored peppercorns (Black Tellicherry Peppercorns, White Peppercorns, Green Peppercorns – but a mixture including Pink Peppercorns is fine, too)
1 well-marbled Porterhouse/T-bone steak – room temperature
2 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized shallot, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cognac
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp of Kosher salt
parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Place 1 tbsp of peppercorns into a spice grinder, and lightly (LIGHTLY!) pulse a spice grinder to crack peppercorns.
  2. Pat steak dry using paper towels and coat both sides of the steak with your crushed peppercorns and 1/2 tsp Kosher salt.
  3. Let steak rest on a plate while you heat 1 tbsp of salted butter over medium-high heat until the butter is very hot (do not allow butter to smoke).
  4. Add steak to the pan and cook until seared on both sides (about 4 -5 minutes for medium rare, 6 – 7 minutes for medium, and 8 – 10 minutes for well-done).
  5. While steak is cooking, wash your plate and set aside for the steak.
  6. When steak is finished searing, place steak on the plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Melt remaining tbsp of butter and cook shallots until they are soft and translucent (but not brown).
  8. Add cognac, and gently (GENTLY!) tip your pan over the flame until the cognac ignites. (If you are using an electric range, light the cognac on fire using a long kitchen match. Or if you are too afraid, let the cognac come to a boil.)
  9. Once flame is gone, or the cognac is boiling, start scraping up the brown bits from the pan, and then add 1/2 cup beef stock.
  10. Bring liquids to a boil, and reduce liquids for about 2 minutes.
  11. Add in 1/4 heavy cream and boil until sauce thickens (about 3 minutes).
  12. Pour the sauce over the steak, and serve immediately.

Tip: Steak Au Poivre traditionally served with herbed frites but I like it with my Mashed Celery Root or a half portion of my whipped Fennel and Sweet Onion Potatoes.

Photo Credit: Matthew G Piccolo

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