Classic French Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1032 Calories
83g Fat
3g Carbs
58g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1032
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 83g 106%
Saturated Fat 41g 205%
Cholesterol 275mg 92%
Sodium 318mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 58g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 714mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Steak au poivre (pronounced "oh-PWAHV") is a classic French steak recipe. "Au piove" is French for "peppered," and the dish features a perfectly cooked steak crusted with cracked peppercorns. It's typically served with a rich, creamy pan sauce flavored with cognac or brandy ladeled on top.

Cognac is the traditional ingredient since steak au poivre is a French recipe and cognac is a type of brandy made in France. So to be truly authentic, use cognac, but any good quality brandy will also work.

Serve steak au poivre with French fries for a traditional meal, or try roasted potatoes or green beans for a healthier option.


Watch Now: Classic French Steak au Poivre


  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless strip steaks, or ribeye steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1/2 cup cognac, or brandy

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Steak au Poivre Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Let the steaks sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before you start to cook. Preheat your oven to 450 F.

    Steaks sitting out on the countertop
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  3. Crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or by crushing them in a metal skillet with the bottom of another heavy pot or pan. Transfer the crushed peppercorns to a plate or sheet pan.

    Peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle
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  4. Season the steaks with salt and then press the steaks into the cracked peppercorns. Make sure to coat both sides of the steaks.

    Seasoned steaks on a plate
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  5. Heat a wide, oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Swirl it around to combine, then add the steaks.

    Steaks in a hot pan with butter and oil
     The Spruce
  6. Brown them for about 2 minutes on each side.

    Flipping steaks in the pan browned on one side
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  7. Transfer the pan to the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes.

    Cooked steaks in a pan
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  8. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the steaks to a plate, tent them with foil and let them rest for 5 to 6 minutes while you make the sauce.

    Steaks on a plate covered in aluminum foil
     The Spruce
  9. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan, then put the pan back on the stove. Don't turn on the heat yet.

    Pan with drippings and fat
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  10. Add the cognac or brandy and scrape the flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

    Pan with added cognac
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  11. Add the cream and stir to combine.

    Stirring pan sauce with cream
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  12. Turn the heat back on to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil.

    Thickened sauce in the pan
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  13. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until it has reduced by about half.

  14. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season to taste with salt.

    Sauce in pan with added butter
     The Spruce
  15. Serve the sauce over the steaks right away.

    Steak au Poivre on plates with green beans
     The Spruce
  16. Enjoy!

Recipe Variation

  • You could also use tenderloin steaks for this recipe (they should be about 1 1/2 inches thick and have plenty of marbling) or even flank steak, which is very flavorful but cooks a little faster since it isn't as thick. Be sure to slice it against the grain.

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