Steak au Poivre Recipe

July 23, 2012 10 Comments

Grilled Steak with Peppercorn Sauce Recipe

Grilled Steak with Peppercorn Sauce Recipe

One of the First Romantic Meals I Cooked For My Wife

The first time I made this dish, I was trying to impress my girlfriend (now my wife) with my cooking skills. I would like to think this dinner contributed to our getting married. This was not the first time the Reluctant Gourmet has made his kitchen an arena for romance…… but that’s another story.

So, what did I cook for her?

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC is Raoul’s; they make the best Steak au Poivre (peppercorns) in the city. So I decided to reproduce this dish.

Since I am a city apartment dweller, I grilled the filet Mignon on my anodized aluminum reversible range top grill.

Just beware they can be a little smoky if you don’t have good ventilation. In addition we had mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a tossed salad. I also served a wonderful California Cabernet Sauvignon. The result? Well, we had another date.

My Tips for Preparing Steak au Poivre

1.  Prepare what you need before you start. It’s how the pros do it and it simplifies the process when you are scrambling to put it all together.

2.  Make sure the grill is hot, really hot. This will sear the outside of the meat and keep the juices in.

3.  If you are using a broiler, you want to preheat it to get it hot for the same reason as above.

4.  Buy yourself a potato ricer for mashed potatoes. It a great gadget to have in your kitchen, it looks like a giant garlic press, costs about six bucks, but there’s nothing better for smooth airy mashed potatoes.

5.  A folding steamer platform that sits in almost any pot works great for your steamed veggies. Important, be careful not to overcook the broccoli, you want it to be crisp but tender.

6.  Invest in a salad spinner. They’re inexpensive and work great. There’s nothing more unappealing than soggy lettuce. And speaking of lettuce, you may have grown up on iceberg, but try some red or green leaf lettuce for a little diversity.

Grilled Steak with Peppercorn Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Grilled Steak with Peppercorn Sauce Recipe


1 shallot

1 oz. Butter (1/4 stick)

1 tablespoon Cracked Peppercorns

8 ounces demi-glace

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 medium sized steaks about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick

5 or 6 medium sized potatoes

1 fresh bunch of broccoli

How To Prepare At Home

Preheat the grill or broiler until it’s really hot.

Season the steaks with a little salt and pepper. The meat should be placed about 3 to 4 inches from the heat source and cooked approximately 3-4 minutes per side depending how you like your steaks.

Prepare Sauce au Poivre:

Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a sauce pan and sauté shallots (cooking quickly over high heat) until transparent for approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon of cracked peppercorns. This is the hardest part to making this sauce. I opted for putting the peppercorns in zip lock bag and cracking them on my cutting board with a hammer. Noisy, but it worked.

You can also use your pepper mill by adjusting the grind setting to largest grind. This requires your having a good quality pepper mill that has a wide range of adjustments.

Add 1/2 cup of red wine, preferably something you may be sipping while you are preparing this meal.

Reduce this mixture to an essence which means until there is just a hint of wine left in the pan. Add the demi glace, stir (with a whisk if you have one) until completely incorporated.

Simmer until the sauce has thickened, approximately 5-6 minutes. The sauce is thick enough when it will coat a spoon.

Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley, stir, and serve over the steaks.

Don't forget to garnish with some parsley for that finishing touch !

That’s it. It’s that easy. And it was as good as any Steak au Poivre I’ve ever had, including Raoul’s.

* Check out my post the Secret to Great Sauces is Demi Glace to learn more about demi glace, what it is, how to make it at home and where to by restaurant quality demi glace.

** IMPORTANT TIP – “Never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink. Why ruin a great meal with a cheap bottle of wine?”



Last modified on Tue 21 August 2018 2:59 pm

Comments (10)

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  1. Cheryl says:

    Can you add cream or half and half?

  2. Arlene says:

    You placed an * next to demi-glace. Are you suggesting to purchase it or did you have a recipe to make your own?

    • Hi Arlene, thanks for point this out. Lost the * and ** when the site converted but I’ll get them right back in and updated. Making demi-glace from scratch is a big effort and although a fun process to try, I don’t think most home cooks will want to spend the time and effort preparing it. Check out my post Secret to Great Sauces is Demi Glace for a link to a good demi recipe plus some of my favorite commercial products.

  3. Heather says:

    I just came across your site looking for a good peppercorn steak sauce. Wow! I love your site! I have a question regarding this sauce. I am not a wine drinker, I know, I know what cook doesn’t drink wine lol Can you recommend a good red wine to make this sauce with? Thank you and I look forward to trying your recipes!

    • Hi Heather, there are so many good wines available, I wouldn’t know where to start. I typically use one of my maintenance wines that cost between $12 – $15. I don’t like to use an expensive wine that I may be drinking that night because I’m going to cook it off to an essence. I also love to make this sauce with a non vintage port like a Ruby Red or Tawny port that you can pick up in any liquor store for a decent price. The advantage of using a port wine is it will last for weeks if not months after it is opened. If you open a red wine, $10 or $30, you need to drink it that day or by the next day. So if you are not serving this sauce to wine drinkers who may enjoy the rest of the wine, try using a port. – I like Sandeman Fine Ruby Port, Fonseca Ruby Port, Taylor Fladgate Fine Tawny to name a few.

  4. Stephanie Spiess says:

    You said to use a port wine– they tend go be sweet. How would a cab taste with this recipie?

    • Stephanie, I don’t think of these Port wines being that sweet, not like a Marsala wine. There are some cheap Ports that may be sweet. A Cabernet Sauvignon would be excellent as well as a Merlot or blend of wines. I like to say, only cook with wines that you would drink alone which means try to stay away from really cheap wine that you would not serve your guests.

  5. Ash says:

    Delicious recipe… Cooked it this evening with my husband and brother and we had a lovely evening by the fire having picanha steak with your delicious sauce recipe, carrots, broccoli and potatoes. It was delicious and will definitely be doing it again. Thanks so much for sharing!

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