Steak au Poivre

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Steak au Poivre.

Oh, Yes.  This has been a Loon favorite for many years. And for good reason.

The seared peppered steaks and the black pepper cream sauce is something truly special.  Perfect with a side of Steakhouse Creamed Spinach, Ultimate Mac ‘n Cheese, or French Potatoes Gratin!

Steak au Poivre on a white plate with a fork nearby.


All you need is a simple spice grinder, or a sturdy skillet, a few good cuts of meat, top-notch Cognac…and cream…and you are good to go with this amazing dish.

This is a dish made to impress.

And you won’t believe how easy it is to make at home! Watch us show you how to make Steak au Poivre!

Steak au Poivre is one of those dishes that you don’t want to skimp on ingredients.

The key components of the dish are simple and straightforward, but should be good-quality.

For steak, we love a good New York Strip Steak which is a cut of meat from the short loin of the cow. For the sauce, we recommend a quality Cognac or brandy. Our favorite is Hennessy. Top-notch cream, beef stock and black peppercorns help to round out this amazing dish.

New York Strip Steak and Cognac are used in Steak au Poivre.


It is very important to crack the peppercorns before dredging the steak in the pepper. If you don’t do this, the pepper-flavor will be too overpowering for most guests.

You can crack the peppercorns by several different methods. We use an old coffee grinder nowadays as our spice grinder. You can also use a mortar and pestle. Of, just place the peppercorns in a plastic baggie, and then take a blunt object, such as a heavy skillet, or even a wine bottle (carefully), and smash the peppercorns until they have become cracked and a little powdery.

Once you reach the right consistency, spread the pepper onto a plate or platter, and then gently apply the pre-salted steaks to the cracked pepper all over. Shake excess off. You don’t want the steaks to be 100% covered in the pepper. Again, this would result in too much pepper for the steak. Remember, there is also cracked pepper in the au poivre sauce.

Spread the uncooked strip steaks in the cracked black peppercorns.

Cover the strip steak all over with the cracked black peppercorns.


It’s important to liberally add course sea salt or Kosher salt to the steaks before dredging in the pepper.

As shown above, press the steaks into the cracked peppercorn all over until the steak has a nice (but not too much) coating of the pepper.

Crank your skillet (preferably cast iron) up to high, and then sear each side for 2 minutes, and then lower the heat to medium, and cook each side for another 4 to 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium/medium-rare.

Sear the steaks in a hot cast iron skillet.

While preparing the sauce, keep the steaks warmed with a foil tent, or in a low-temp (200°F) oven.

Each layer of the sauce will reduce as it cooks, which will concentrate the flavors and deliver unmatched taste.

Once ready, the sauce will just coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Cook the Steak au Poivre sauce in a large skillet with a wooden spoon.


When ordering Steak au Poivre at some steak houses, you may only get a steak that has a layer of pepper on the exterior of the meat. Others, you may get a seared steak that only has an au Poivre sauce poured over the top.

We think the perfect Steak au Poivre has both. But just the right amount of pepper on the steak and in the sauce.

When done right…it’s quite possibly the best steak you’ll ever eat.

Slice the steak and then pour the au poivre sauce over the top and serve with a good brandy.

When you are ready to impress, and without killing yourself in the kitchen, this Steak au Poivre dish will send your guests home with rave reviews.

Here are a few of our other favorite beef dishes:

But for now, ladies and gentleman, the time has come to make our most favorite steakhouse dish of all time: Steak au Poivre. Yes. Yes. Yes!

Serve the steak au poivre on a white plate with extra sauce on the side.

Sliced strip steak with au poivre sauce poured over the top.

Steak Au Poivre

Steak au Poivre is amazing. A bit of a kick with the fresh ground pepper, and the super luscious sauce makes this classic steak amazing. Break up the whole peppercorns with a heavy skillet between two pieces of wax paper or a spice grinder.
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: French
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Au Poivre, Steak
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 386kcal


  • Spice Grinder OR Coffee Grinder OR Heavy Skillet



  • 6 strip steaks (i.e, New York strip) about 1 inch thick, each
  • Coarse sea salt, or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup black peppercorns cracked, divided (save some for the sauce)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup shallots (usally one large shallot will be enough) finely diced
  • 1 cup good-quality Cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 cup red wine Cabernet, Zinfandel
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt to taste



  • Liberally salt the steaks.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of the cracked pepper on a clean surface. Dredge the steaks through the pepper, shaking off excess. Don't try to cover the entire steaks in the pepper. There should still be red visible from the steaks after they have been dredged.
  • Melt butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Working in batches, add the steaks and sear each side for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the steaks for another 8 minutes, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (135°F) or 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium (155°F). Remove and tent under foil, or place on a baking rack and pan and keep warm in a low-temp oven (200°).


  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and saute until the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Stirring frequently with a wooden sppon.
  • Add Cognac and wine (stand back - it may flame!). Bring to a strong simmer and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 12 minutes until thickened and almost syrupy.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Turn the heat back to medium, and cook until thickened again, about 8 minutes. Stirring frequently.
  • Add the reserved cracked pepper (about 1/4 cup), balsamic vinegar, and salt, to taste.


  • Remove the steaks from the oven and place on warmed plates.
  • Spoon a layer of the sauce over the top of each steak and place the remaining sauce in a bowl for passing at the table. Serve at once!


Calories: 386kcal
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  • 5 stars
    I tried it, it’s delicious. Kat’s problem was operator error, otherwise known as fucking up a wet dream. Stick to letting more qualified people cook for you, Kitty. You used the wrong wine, burned the butter, used Irish butter, heat was too high, no patience, went way past 135, am I getting close?

    • Thank you so so much. You just made our day. We are so happy you made the steak au poivre and loved it. Thank you for your words and the wonderful rating. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch. Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Hi guys, just wanted to let you know that my wife and I cooked this for her brother & boyfriend last night and we all loved it so much! The sauce was fantastic. Sometimes I hear around Texas that is a big no no to eat a steak with sauce, but this looked too good not to try and we are so glad we did. We will definitely make this one again in the future. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Jake!! We are so so so happy you, your wife, and her brother enjoyed our steak au poivre recipe! It is hands down one of our all-time favorite dishes, so it makes us so happy you guys enjoyed it, too. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us!!! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 2 stars
    I’m not sure what went wrong. Other than halving the recipe, I followed it to a T. My sauce turned out significantly darker in color. The pepper flavor was great. But the sauce was supremely mediocre. Not at all the decadent cream sauce I had hoped for. Disappointing.

    • Hi Kat. Well, we’re sorry you didn’t have success with our steak au Poivre recipe. It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong since we weren’t there as you were preparing it. We make this dish often, as it’s one of our favorites. Maybe more seasoning (salt?)…that seems obvious, but we have found that when a dish is falling flat with taste, it often just needs more salt. My instructors at the Culinary Institute of America told us that repeatedly.

      Anyway, we do appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback. And on another note, maybe this is something you already know, but may you don’t: Food bloggers, such as Wesley and me, make a living from what we do. It’s our business and our livelihoods. Whenever you choose to give a poor rating (the # of stars you select), it causes a negative impact on our search engine rankings. This is true for any website that is searchable by Google. Of course, it’s your absolute right to leave any kind of comment and rating that you want to, but just remember that a poor rating hurts the folks who are working hard to provide a good recipe for fans and readers, all at no charge. If we come across we a recipe that doesn’t work for us, and if I’m 1,000% that the fail had nothing to do with me…then I may leave a comment with my experience, but not give it a rating. I reserve star ratings for those we come across that we think are really stellar.

      We wish the very best for you and Skip and hope you try other recipes of ours and have fabulous results.

      Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Kris and Wesley,

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. Have been wanting to make it for some time, and took advantage of the long weekend to make it this evening. I know this is a French recipe, but I believe the first time I had this was actually 20 years ago (in the 90s, ;-)) in Oberammergau, Germany and it was called “pffefersteak” (pepper steak?). It was delicious, but your recipe easily tops it! I made it for my wife and son, and they (like me) thought it was brilliant. Paired it with rosemary roasted potatoes and roasted carrots and WOW! I’ve already been told that this I’ll be making this again … and again.

    Thanks for your great website! The variety of cuisine and recipes is amazing, your passion for cooking inspires me (an admitted foodie) and I absolutely love the entertaining videos. You guys rock!

    All the best,

    • Hi Mark!! Thank you so much and we are so very happy you had success with our Steak au Poivre recipe. We agree, it’s one of those kind of ‘old school’ recipe that is so much fun to re-visit and it’s just so delicious! And your complete meal sounds heavenly!! Woo hoo!!

      Thank you so much for the great review, your kind words and your support. Please stay in touch and stay tuned…lots more on the way, foodie friend!!

      Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Kris and Wesley,

    Steak au Poivre is one of my all-time favorites! Can’t wait to try your variation. The Hennessey looks particularly fascinating!

    Best wishes,

    Gregg Hollmann
    Princeton, NJ

    • Gregg!!! So wonderful to hear from you!!!! Thank you so much! This is without a doubt one of our all-time favs and has been for years. We keep up with you through FB, and looks like things are going great for you and your business. No surprise, but so happy for you! Take care and do stay in touch!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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