Steak au Poivre is a classic restaurant dish that is easy to make and only takes a few ingredients. Make this for your next date-night dinner or to turn any night into a special occasion.
Have you ever wished you could create delicious restaurant-style dishes in your own home during the holidays to impress your guests?
The truth is, that most are not that difficult to make. It’s just a matter of having the right ingredients and knowing how to put them together. And in the case of Steak a Poivre there really isn’t a lot to know. Make this delicious dish for your meal at home with guests and you won’t be disappointed.
Let’s start by gathering our ingredients to make Steak au Poivre. In chef speak we call this the Mise en Place or everything in its place. The only ingredient you might not be familiar with on this list is the shallot.
What is a shallot?
A shallot is a type of onion and like garlic, shallots are formed in clusters with a head composed of multiple cloves. The skin color of shallots can vary from golden brown. gray or rose red. And their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta.
Shallots are delicate enough to eat raw and easy to roast or caramelize, making them a flexible and supportive ingredient in many dishes.
Can I use onions instead of shallots?
Yes, you can. The flavor of shallots is milder and more delicate than that of a regular onion, and they can often be used in place of common onions (like white onions or yellow onions). Which means you can also substitute mild onions for shallots in a recipe.
How do you make a Steak au Poivre?
The first step in making a Steak au Poivre is coating one side of the steak with your favorite dijon mustard.
You can use other types of mustard if you like, although traditionally dijon is the mustard of choice. That being said stone-ground mustard or your favorite brown deli mustard would also work.
Once you’ve coated the steak in mustard the next step is to crust the steak with cracked black peppercorns.
How do I make cracked black pepper?
If you can’t find cracked black pepper you can easily make your own, using a spice mill or by placing whole peppercorns between two sheets of waxed paper, or in a thick zip-top bag (leaving is slightly open for air to leave). Then using a rolling pin or heavy pan, apply firm steady pressure to crack the peppercorns.
Once your steak is coated and ready to go the last step is searing the steak. This can be done in a saute pan, cast iron or a carbon steel pan like the one I’m using.
You need minimal oil for the searing and be careful the oil that you do use can get very very hot quickly. Depending on the temperature you want your steak cooked to this can be completed in the pan. Or if you’re like my wife and want your steak completely well done, move it to a 400-degree oven to finish the cooking process.
**You don’t want to cook a steak in a pan until it’s well done.
How do I know when a steak is done to the right temperature?
Using a meat thermometer is the easiest way to make sure your steak is cooked just how you like it. An experienced cook can tell simply by touch, but when you spend that much money on a good cut of beef, don’t leave things to chance. Temp it with an easy read thermometer.
**Keep in mind that a steak will continue to cook once its off the heat and the internal temperature will increase by about 5 degrees.
Using a digital insta-read thermometer will help you cook the perfect steak!
While the steak is cooking its time to make the au Poivre sauce and saute some spinach. If you’re not a fan of spinach, leave it out. It’s not a deal-breaker.
What type of alcohol should I use in Steak au Poivre sauce?
Julia Child used cognac in her sauce and some chefs use sherry. I use brandy in my sauce because I rarely have cognac or sherry in the house.
Bourbon is also a good substitute. (Just don’t tell the French)
What type of steak should I use in Steak au Poivre?
Julia Child used a tenderloin but I’ve always used New York Strip Steaks. Depending upon your favorite cut of steak, you could use other cuts. A ribeye, porterhouse or t-bone would also work.
If you liked this dish you may also like these restaurant-style recipes:
- How to Grill a Steak House Style Steak
- Pan Seared Duck Breast
- Stuffed Rack of Lamb
- Oven Roasted Rack of Pork
- Asian Style Black Peppercorn Beef and Broccoli
Steak Au Poivre
- 2 10 ounce New York Strip Steaks
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- sea salt to taste
au Poivre sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp shallot minced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup heavy cream *may substitute light cream, half and half or plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chicken stock *may substitute beef or vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 cups spinach
- Remove steaks from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (30-45 minutes).
- Sprinkle salt to taste on the top and bottom of the steaks.
- Spread dijon mustard to one side of steak
- Press the mustard side of the steak into the cracked peppercorns, encrusting the steaks lightly or heavily, as you prefer.
- Let the steak sit for 10-15 minutes to let the pepper flavor get into the steak.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan over high heat. When the pan is quite hot, add the steaks, pepper side down. Saute the steaks for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until well seared. Turn the steak and cook the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Depending upon how you want your steak cooked it could be done at this point. If you want a well done or medium well steak transfer the steak to a 400 degree preheated oven until it reached the desired temperature.*Make sure to have the kitchen fan on! The pepper can be hard to breathe in as the steaks cook.
au Poivre Sauce
- In a pan over medium heat add the olive oil and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are cooked then add the shallots. Stir to mix.
- Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the brandy. Place pan back on the stove and keep an arms distance away in case the brandy flames. If it flames it would stay on for long, just until the alcohol burns out.
- Add the stock and heavy cream, bringing the liquid back to a boil, slightly reducing the sauce.
- Push butter into the flour until well coated and place in the pan stirring to mix in completely. This is a beurre manie and will thicken your sauce.
- In another pan, while the sauce is cooking, saute the spinach in a little olive oil.
- Place sauteed spinach on a plate, add steak and top with au Poivre sauce.