Steak au Poivre

Total Time:
53 min
8 min
30 min
15 min

4 servings

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.

Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.

Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. Gently shake pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.

The Food Network Kitchens recommend that when igniting alcohol, use extreme caution. Remove the pan from the heat source before adding the alcohol. Pour the alcohol into the pan and ignite with a match or click lighter. Return the pan to the stove top and gently swirl to reduce the flames.

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Pairs Well With
Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich, intense red wine

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4.8 273
I agree with the comments others have written.  This is the best Steak au Poivre I've ever had.  My boyfriend made for me for Valentine's Day and it was outstanding.  We followed the recipe exactly and wouldn't change a thing.  What I liked is it didn't have as strong of a Cognac flavor as other versions of Steak au Poivre I've had.  It was just perfect.  I think we needed to cook the sauce a little longer next time.  Ours was a bit too loose but the flavor was outstanding.  Also, this was very easy to make and yet it looks and tastes very special.  Can't wait to have this again soon. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is is the best Steak I have ever made. Alton Brown is one of my favorite on Food Network. Tell you exactly how to make it perfect. Follow his instructions and he will make you look like a pro! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It wasn't a big hit with my sons and myself. I think it was a little too peppery for us but my husband loved it and that's the main thing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ahhh-mazing!!!! Really, if I was on death row, this would be my pick. With a crispy baked potato, suateed greens, and a good bourbon. Nothing beats it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Like the rest of you, I modified this recipe too. I mean why review the recipe as written when you can judge it based on your own changes, right? I replaced the beef with tofu, the cognac with redbull and left the peppercorns out altogether. Instead of butter and olive oil I used vegan bacon fat (banana oil), and replaced the salt with gluten free flour. The heavy cream was replaced with skim soy milk (actually just the water off the block of tofu). It tasted just like a tennis shoe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this the other day for my roommates and I and it was a complete hit! (Often not the case when cooking for 5 people!) It compared favorably to the steak au poivre that I used to eat when I lived in France. I used 3 month old red wine that had been sitting in the back of the fridge for a while as it was the only comparable thing that we had on hand- it came out great, but would not ignite. Trying it again tonight with cognac- glad I read the reviews about the flames first! item not reviewed by moderator and published
awesome Alton! i added onions & mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil and dried tarragon to the top of the steaks before spooning the sauce over the steaks. thanks to prior reviews i lit the brandy (didn't have cognac) on my back concrete porch which produced 2 foot high flames that completely freaked out the dogs ;) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Modified this dish to make a chateaubriand served with fois grois on top. delicious ! Oh and I smoked the meat after searing on mesquite. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So delicious! Went easy on the peppercorns and cooked for 4 minutes on each side - a wonderful medium rare! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing steak, hubby made it for valentine's night dinner. I can't wait for him to cook it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
just wondering if they offered this on death row could you have them hang the steak to age an extra week or maybe just inject the marinade into a vein item not reviewed by moderator and published

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