Cookbook:Steak au poivre

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes


  • 4 (6-8 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, 1 inch thick
  • 2 tbs black peppercorns, cracked
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  1. Sprinkle steaks on both sides liberally with kosher salt. Press peppercorns into both sides of each steak. Let sit 30 minutes or until room temperature.
  2. Melt 1 tbs butter with oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium high heat. Add steaks and cook 5 minutes per side for medium rare, 6 for medium, and 7 for well done. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  3. Raise heat in pan to high. Turn off the heat, then deglaze pan with cognac. Carefully ignite with a firestick, then swirl the pan until flames die.
  4. Put heat to medium and whisk continuously to remove fond. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid has reduced by 1/2.
  5. Whisk in cream. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid has reduced to 1/3 cup.
  6. Slowly whisk in butter, 1 tbs at a time. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve warm.


Don't even think about using a nonstick pan. Repeat after me, "You can't build a pan sauce in a nonstick skillet". Good.

If you don't want to ignite the cognac, you do not have to. I just put it in because it makes a performance that makes people stare at you with amazement.


If you do choose to ignite, remember to keep a lid, in case things get out of hand, and a fire extinguisher, in case something bad happens and you need it.