Steak Au Poivre

(from saymyname’s recipe box)

Serves 4 people

Categories: Beef, French, Main Dish


  • 4 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 1 small carrot , chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely crushed green peppercorn
  • 4 (8 -10 ounce) New York strip steaks , cut 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat (8-10 oz. each)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons very finely minced shallots
  • 4 tablespoons cognac or 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley


  1. Add beef stock, onion, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, and whole black peppercorns in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.

  2. Decrease heat to medium and, maintaining a lively simmer, let stock reduce in volume to about ½ cup.

  3. Strain the reduction sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, pressing lightly on the vegetables to extract any liquid.

  4. Discard the solids and set sauce aside.

  5. Meanwhile, combine the crushed black and green peppercorns; firmly press the mixture into the steaks, both the top and bottom sides, coating them evenly.

  6. Let the pepper-studded steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  7. Preheat oven to 200°.

  8. Place a cast iron skillet (just large enough to hold the steaks) over med-high heat and let it warm for 4 minutes.

  9. Generously salt the top of each steak.

  10. Pour the oil into the skillet, coating it evenly; when the oil is hot, add the steaks, salt side down; move them slightly after 30 seconds to help browning.

  11. Cook for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare; make sure to salt the second side of each steak before flipping.

  12. When the steaks are done, put them in a pan or on a platter and hold them in the warmed oven (the steaks will continue to cook in the oven, so undercook them a bit).

  13. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet; return skillet to medium heat, adding 1 tablespoon of the butter and shallots.

  14. Stir until shallots are softened, about 1 minute.

  15. Add in the cognac and white wine, scraping with a wooden spatula to loosen any browned bits.

  16. Increase heat to high and reduce liquid by half; add the reduced beef broth and reduce liquid by half again; the sauce should begin to thicken slightly.

  17. Add any juices that have accumulated beneath the steaks you are holding in the oven and whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, parsley, and salt to taste.

  18. Place steak on dinner plates; spoon shallots and sauce evenly over and around each one; serve immediately.

  19. *Note: Only use dried green peppercorns; do not use green peppercorns in brine; if dried green peppercorns are not available, double the amount of black peppercorns.

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