Steak au Poivre (Pepper Steak) With Sauce

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Steak au poivre (pronounced “oh-pwah-vruh) is one of the best ways you will ever consume a steak. Period.

Originated in France, this dish is hard to beat. Made with freshly cracked peppercorns, oil, butter, and a healthy splash of heavy cream, this steak au poivre is bound to be your new favorite dish.

This recipe is inspired by the steak au poivre from Bistrot Paul Bert in Paris. Not only is Bistrot Paul Bert one of the best restaurants in Paris, but they serve one of the best steaks you will ever enjoy.

How To Make Steak au Poivre (Pepper Steak)

Making steak au poivre is easy, and if you follow these directions carefully the end result is nothing short of marvelous.

  • First, remove your steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Sprinkle a good amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on both the top and bottom of the steak and set aside.

  • Once the steaks have been sitting at room temperature for 30 minutes, you’re good to cook them. Take a cast iron skillet and bring to high heat. Add the oil and butter, and swish both of them together using the skillet handle (you’ll need a hot pad for this!). Place the steaks on the skillet and let them cook for 3-4 minutes per side over high heat.

  • Turn the steaks at the 3-4 minute mark. Once the steaks have a minute or two left, grab your hot pad again, til the cast iron skillet in one direction, and spoon the pooled oil and butter over the tops of the steaks (we call this basting).

  • If you’re cooking your steak medium rare (which we highly recommend), your target internal temperature is 135° F. Remove your steak from the cast iron skillet and set on a plate or cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes.

  • While the steak is resting, make your pepper sauce. Remove your cast iron skillet from your heat source and let it cook slightly. Add the heavy cream and whisk until it creates a smooth, creamy sauce with the residual fat in the skillet. Salt to taste with kosher salt.

  • Plate your steaks (you can slice them into 2/3″ slices first if you prefer), then drizzle them with the creamy pepper sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground peppercorns and flake salt. Devour immediately.
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Steak au Poivre (Pepper Steak) With Sauce

This Steak au Poivre with sauce is one of the best ways you will ever consume a steak. Make in 45 minutes with only five ingredients.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword Bistrot Paul Bert, pepper steak, Steak au Poivre
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 12-oz. New York strip steaks
  • 2-3 Tablespoons black peppercorns
  • kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • flake salt

Instructions

  • 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove steaks from refrigerator and place on a plate. Crack the peppercorns (see notes for tips). Sprinkle peppercorns (reserving a pinch or two for garnish) and kosher salt liberally on the top and bottom of the steak and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook steaks, heat your cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil and butter, and swirl the pan to combine. Carefully place the steaks on the hot skillet and leave undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom surface is crispy and brown. Turn the steaks and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Once the steaks have a minute or two left, tilt the cast iron skillet and using a spoon, baste the tops of the steaks with the oil and butter continuously. Check temperature with an instant read thermometer and remove from heat (target temperature for a medium rare steak is 135°). Let steaks rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow the skillet to cool slightly and add the heavy cream to the fats remaining in the skillet. Whisk to combine and salt to taste. If the sauce is too thin, cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Slice the rested steaks into 2/3" slices, place on plates, and drizzle them with pepper sauce. Sprinkle with reserved cracked peppercorns and flake salt. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • You really want to let the pepper shine in this recipe. While it’s perfectly acceptable to use a pepper grinder, cracking the pepper by hand keeps the peppercorns more intact, giving this dish its distinct peppery flavor. To crack your own peppercorns, you can use a mortar and pestle, or simple place the peppercorns on a cutting board, cover them with a square of plastic wrap, and crack them with the bottom and edge of your cast iron skillet. 

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  1. 5 stars
    I made myself this pepper steak this weekend and it turned out SO 👏🏼 WELL 👏🏼 I have followed steak cooking tips in the past and I feel like it FINALLY turned out how I’ve been dreaming it would after following along with this recipe. The crust, the sauce, the steak temp were all ON POINT (*chefs kiss*). Would totally make this again!