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Perfect Pepper Steak

This Steak au poivre is definitely in contention for last meal on earth level deliciousness. We’ll be sharing all the do’s and dont’s of making the perfect steak and the best peppery sauce you’ve ever tasted to drizzles generously over both your steak and the yummy homemade frites. You won’t regret adding this recipe to your toolkit!


Steak with pepper sauce, or Steak au Poivre as it’s known on French restaurant menus, is a total classic. The creamy, super-peppery sauce is perfect for dragging through bites of perfectly-cooked steak and umami-rich truffle fries. This is a clean-plate-club kind of meal.

Servings: 2-4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For the Steak:

  • 2 boneless ribeye or filet mignon steaks, about 1.5 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish

For the Truffle Frites:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Make the Pepper Steak:

  1. Crush the black peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy pan. You want a coarse grind.
  2. Press the crushed peppercorns onto both sides of the steaks, coating them evenly. Season with kosher salt.
  3. Heat your pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and butter.
  4. Sear the steaks for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or longer depending on your preferred doneness.
  5. Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest on a plate, covering loosely with foil to keep warm.
  6. In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots, cooking until softened.
  7. Remove the pan from heat, add cognac or brandy, and return to heat to cook off the alcohol. Be cautious as it might ignite.
  8. Add the beef broth and heavy cream. Stir continuously, scraping the fond (browned bits) from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  9. Return the steaks to the pan, coating them in the sauce, then transfer to serving plates. Spoon extra sauce over the steaks and garnish with parsley.

Make the Truffle Frites:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut the potatoes into 1⁄2” sticks, and soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to remove excess starch.
  2. Dry the fries thoroughly with a clean towel. Toss them with truffle oil and minced garlic, then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning them halfway through.
  4. Once out of the oven, while still hot, season with sea salt and toss with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.