Steak au Poivre

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

With its crushed-peppercorn crust and buttery, shallot-specked sauce, steak au poivre is a highlight of any cook's repertoire. Our recipe captures dynamic flavor in two quick steps: searing the meat over high heat, and simmering down chicken broth, Worcestershire, cognac, and a touch of cream to pour on top. Serve with greens that are peppery in their own right, and savor your easy steak dinner to the final cut.


  • 1 boneless NY strip steak, 1 ½ inches thick (about 1 pound)

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • cup cognac

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Watercress or arugula, for serving


  1. Let steak sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Place peppercorns in a plastic bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Lightly brush steak with oil and season generously with kosher salt. Coat both sides with peppercorns, pressing to adhere. Let stand 15 minutes.

  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Swirl in oil. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until a thermometer reads 130°F (for medium-rare), 10 to 12 minutes total. Sear fat cap to finish, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing so the juices redistribute. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

  3. While steak is resting, wipe skillet clean. Add butter and shallot to skillet and cook over medium, stirring often, until shallot softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully add cognac and cook, scraping browned bits from pan, until almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add Worcestershire, broth and any accumulated steak juices from plate. Reduce sauce to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute more. Drizzle over sliced steak and serve with greens.

    Steak au Poivre recipe
    Lennart Weibull

Cook's Notes

Nicely marbled New York strip is the traditional choice for this dish, but you can swap in filet mignon, or feed crowd with a large boneless rib eye—just make sure the meat is about 1 1/2 inches thick.

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