Steak Au Poivre


  • 3 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 4 6-oz. beef filets, about 1 1⁄2" thick
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1⁄3 cup cognac
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream



  • Wrap peppercorns in a clean dish towel, then crush, either by pressing firmly with the bottom of a heavy skillet or by tapping gently with a mallet (Peppercorns should be cracked, not ground.) Transfer pepper to a plate, then roll filets in it so that they are evenly coated. Season liberally on both sides with salt.
  • Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add filets and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer steaks to four warmed plates. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you prepare sauce.
  • Add cognac to hot pan, then carefully ignite with a long-handled match. (Keep lid handy so flame can be extinguished if necessary.) Allow alcohol to burn off, about 1 minute, then add stock. Cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3–5 minutes. Season with salt and pour over steaks.