Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre)

A delicious Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre) which can be made in 30 minutes! Use beef fillet or filet mignon for a delicious treat with this easy and creamy peppercorn sauce.

steak with peppercorn sauce on plate with asparagus and glass of red wine

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre)

A nice piece of steak is hard to turn down, especially when it is served with a creamy peppercorn sauce. Served simply with some steamed greens or even just a green salad, Steak with Peppercorn Sauce makes for a delicious and comforting family meal which can easily be dressed up for entertaining.

This also happens to be a fairly quick dish to make, not least because you don’t want to overcook the beef.

In fact, this dish is quite similar to my Beef Wellington with Green Peppercorn Sauce, except this recipe only takes a mere 30 minutes to make, but it is equally stunning.

And once you are in the habit of making a peppercorn sauce (because it goes well with so many dishes), you, too, might be making Steak with Peppercorn Sauce for the family on a casual weeknight.

steak with peppercorn sauce in saucepan on wooden board

What Cut of Beef to Use

We don’t eat steak very often at home, primarily because meat costs a small fortune in Switzerland. But when the occasion strikes, I tend to go all in and will treat the family to a nice cut of beef fillet.

Beef fillet is one of the most prized cuts of meat you can buy because it is lean and extremely tender.

I like to buy one long piece of beef fillet, which I will portion myself at home into two large medallions for the adults, and two smaller medallions for the children. These medallions are called filet mignon in French.

If you don’t want to splurge too much, sirloin, rumpentrecôte and porterhouse steak also work well in this recipe.

I think you should aim for about 200g of beef per adult, and about 100g of beef per child.

beef fillet sliced into filet mignon on white chopping board

How to Make Peppercorn Sauce

This Peppercorn Sauce recipe is extremely easy and is a handy recipe to have up your sleeve because it works so well in many different dishes. I also love Peppercorn Sauce with grilled chicken.

What is important is that you sear the meat first in the pan, and the caramelisation formed in the pan is what will give a lot of flavour to the Peppercorn Sauce which you will make in the same pan later.

filet mignon seared in frying pan on wooden board

I use brined green peppercorns in this sauce for a mild flavour, but you can use a mix of different peppercorns if you like a bit more heat.

The heat and flavour from the pepper sprinkled onto the beef will also transport into this sauce. For a good spicy kick, I recommend using a mix of toasted sichuan peppercorns and black peppercorns, which are coarsely crushed using a mortar and pestle.

As my children cannot eat very spicy food, I season the beef only very lightly with freshly ground salt and pepper. I try not to serve them any whole peppercorns in the sauce, but they otherwise enjoy this meal sans pepper 😉

The sauce is given extra flavour with a touch of chicken stock or beef stock – use whichever you prefer.

This Peppercorn Sauce also contains brandy or cognac for a bit of flavour, but most of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process. You can also leave out the alcohol entirely without too much effect on the flavour of the sauce, but the alcohol does add a nice depth of flavour.

steak with peppercorn sauce on plate with asparagus and black cutlery

What to Serve with Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

In France, Steak with Peppercorn Sauce is called Steak au Poivre, and you can find this on the menu of many bistros and restaurants.

Steak au Poivre is typically served with a simple green salad and also often with French fries.

At home, I like to serve this dish with either roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, steamed beans, or steamed broccoli.

asparagus at farmers market

As asparagus is currently in season, I’m trying to sneak them into as many meals as possible, and they go perfectly alongside this Steak with Peppercorn Sauce.

Simply trim the ends of the asparagus and steam them for 3-5 minutes (depending on size) until they are tender but still crisp.

steak with peppercorn sauce in saucepan on wooden board with teatowel

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre)

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: French

A delicious Steak with Peppercorn Sauce (Steak au Poivre) which can be made in 30 minutes! Use beef fillet or filet mignon for a delicious treat with this easy and creamy peppercorn sauce.


For the Beef

  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • approx 800g (2 lb) beef fillet, cut into 4 large medallions (see Kitchen Notes)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the Peppercorn Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) brandy or cognac
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock or beef stock
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) double cream (heavy cream) or soya cream (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 34 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine, drained (or more, to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • parsley, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan which can fit all of the pieces of beef comfortably.
  2. Season each piece of beef with salt and pepper. (See Kitchen Notes)
  3. Sear each piece of beef over medium-high heat until you have a nice golden crust on each side. This should take about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare meat. If you like your beef more well-done, cook it for longer. (See Kitchen Notes)
  4. Remove the beef to a plate and set aside.
  5. Turn the heat down and add the butter and shallots.
  6. Use a wooden spoon to try and scrape any caramelised bits from the pan.
  7. Add the brandy or cognac and let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes.
  8. Add the stock, cream, and green peppercorns.
  9. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour (cornstarch) with a bit of water.
  11. To thicken the sauce, pour some of the cornflour mixture into the sauce and quickly mix it in with a spoon. Add more cornflour mixture as necessary until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  12. Taste for seasoning.
  13. Return the pieces of beef to the pan and reheat them briefly in the sauce.
  14. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
  15. Serve with steamed greens, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes or French fries.

Kitchen Notes

I recommend any high-quality cut of beef for this dish, including beef fillet, sirloin, rump, entrecôte, and porterhouse steak.

If you like your food spicy, be generous with the freshly ground pepper. You could go one step further by coarsely crushing black peppercorns and/or toasted sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and pressing the crushed peppercorns onto both sides of the beef before searing.

For a mild heat, or if you are also serving children, a few grinds of the pepper mill should be fine.

To make this recipe dairy-free, omit the butter and substitute the cream for a plant-based soya cream. Start with half the quantity of soya cream, and add more to taste.

The best way to test the doneness of your beef is to use a digital meat thermometer. Temperatures should be as follows:
Rare 115°F (46°C)
Medium-Rare 120°F (48°C)
Medium 130°F (54°C)
Medium-Well 140°F (60°C)
Well-done 150°F (65°C)


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 646
  • Sugar: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 456.9mg
  • Fat: 35g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.9g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 63.9g
  • Cholesterol: 200.3mg

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  1. Sonal 24 May 2018

    I am sold for your sauce! I am vegetarian so willbe making the vegetarian version. But that sauce is a killer.

  2. Sand 24 May 2018

    You have got such pretty pictures.. and I loved the styling ! So simple yet powerful.

  3. Sandi 25 May 2018

    I haven’t had pepper sauce like this in ages. It looks wonderful with the steak.

  4. Sharon 25 May 2018

    This would be the perfect meal for date night. The peppercorn sauce and the tender beef, what a meal!

  5. This meal brings back happy memories of a fabulous meal my husband and I enjoyed in London. I can’t wait to try this!

  6. món ăn ngon hàng ngày 7 October 2019

    That’s a good beefsteak recipe. I like this smell.

  7. CAROLINA S SNOWDON 8 December 2020

    Hello there,
    I love this receipe. ? for you I am wanting to have this premade for Xmas Eve dinner, What should I do? I have 12 people. TY. Or what could I do for something in beef in a sauce so tasty and not much to do?

    • Eat, Little Bird 10 December 2020

      Hi Carolina,

      You can definitely make most of this dish in advance and finish cooking just before serving. In which case, I would suggest making the sauce in advance, and keeping it in the fridge until you need it. I would recommend cooking the meat just before serving.

      On the day of serving, brown the meat as per the recipe above. Remove the meat to a plate, and pour the sauce into the pan which you have used to cook the meat, so that you can capture all of the flavour in that pan. The sauce will have thickened slightly in the fridge, so you will need to thin it with some water, stock or cream. Taste for seasoning before returning the meat to the sauce, and finish as per the recipe.

      At a pinch, you could also cook the meat in advance, and bring it to room temperature before reheating in the sauce before serving. However, you might run the risk of over-cooking the meat with this method, unless you slightly undercook it in the first place.

      I hope this helps!

  8. Pascal 16 January 2021

    This was my favorite as a kid. I’m now more or less dairy free so I used fake butter and fake cream and it was amazing! My teenaged son and I devoured it, using striploin steaks which were fine. We had them with “frites”. This is for sure a keeper.

    • Eat, Little Bird 22 January 2021

      Hi Pascal,
      So glad to hear that you and your son enjoyed this recipe! I have to eat dairy-free from time to time, and I was also surprised at how well this recipe worked with soya cream or almond cream. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference. And instead of butter, you can just use olive oil or vegetable oil. A side of Frites is the perfect accompaniment!

  9. Adam 29 April 2022

    Beautiful recipe! This is easy to make and looks spectacular when serving, especially for a dinner party. I’ll be making this again for sure.