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 (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.
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, rump, entrecôte 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Print
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 of filet mignon for a delicious treat with this easy and creamy peppercorn sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: French
For the Beef
- 2–3 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
- 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)
- 3–4 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine, drained (or more, to taste)
- 3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- parsley, finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan which can fit all of the pieces of beef comfortably.
- Season each piece of beef with salt and pepper. (See Kitchen Notes)
- 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)
- Remove the beef to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the heat down and add the butter and shallots.
- Use a wooden spoon to try and scrape any caramelised bits from the pan.
- Add the brandy or cognac and let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes.
- Add the stock, cream, and green peppercorns.
- Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the cornflour (cornstarch) with a bit of water.
- 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.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Return the pieces of beef to the pan and reheat them briefly in the sauce.
- Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
- Serve with steamed greens, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes or French fries.
WHICH CUT OF BEEF TO USE
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.
COOKING FOR CHILDREN
For a mild heat, or if you are also serving children, a few grinds of the pepper mill should be fine.
COOKING MEAT PERFECTLY
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