09 March 2014

Steak au Poivre

I could probably eat steak every day. I know red meat isn't great for you and it would get pretty expensive (I only buy "good" meat from stores like Whole Foods because they are strict with what kind of treatment the animals received). There's just so much you can do with a good steak - from just grilling or frying it and serving it as is to slicing it up and putting it on a bed of salad to grinding it and making burgers. I could probably deal with being a vegetarian if I felt so inclined, but I think I would miss eating steak the most.

So, I decided to make steak. "Steak au poivre" means "pepper steak" in French, and, boy, there's a lot of pepper on this thing. It's earthy and a little spicy, but, thanks to the sauce, it's creamy, delicious, and just heavenly. I served it with mashed potatoes and oven roasted asparagus. I would also recommend oven roasted potatoes or pretty much any roasted root vegetable. The recipe below is for one person; double the quantities for two and so on.

Steak au Poivre

1 piece of steak (I used a New York strip but a filet or rib eye will do just fine)
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil

1. An hour before cooking, remove your steak from the fridge. Remove any big pieces of fat, salt liberally on all sides, and let rest at room temperature. Yes, your steak will be fine for an hour, but don't leave it out much longer than that.

2. Once the hour is almost up, crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle (or something heavy, like a frying pan) until coarse - we want large pieces, not ground pepper. Spread the pepper on a plate and coat the surface of both sides of the steak by pressing it into the pepper.

3. Over medium heat, melt the butter and oil in a cast iron skillet until it starts turning golden. Add the steak and don't touch it for four minutes. Flip, and cook another four minutes without touching it for medium rare, depending on the thickness of your steak.

4. Remove the steak to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Pour off the grease from the pan, trying to not lose any of the residual pepper.

5. With the pan off the heat (this is important), add the brandy. Light the brandy with a match (trying not to singe your eyebrows in the process) and let the flames die down. Add the cream to the pan, turn the heat back on, and set to medium low. Cook for about three minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.

5. Add the steak back into the sauce and coat with the sauce. Place the steak on a plate with whatever side dishes you opted for and pour the remaining sauce over it. Devour.


  1. Andreas, I tried this recipe. and it was wonderful. I'm definitely making this dish again! Thank you for posting this.