Steak An Poivre

Here is a simplified but no less tasty rendition of this great French classic.

Written by Sarah Leah Chase

Sarah Leah Chase moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, as a year-round resident in 1980 and opened a specialty food shop and catering business called Que Sera Sarah, which soon became an island institution.

Sarah develops recipes and concepts for her husband Nigel’s specialty food company, Coastal Goods. She lives with her family on Cape Cod, where she enjoys oystering and gardening as much as cooking.


  •  4 top-quality New York strip steaks, about 10 ounces each and 1 1/2 inches thick
  •  5 tablespoons Coastal Goods Paris Pepper, very coarsely crushed with a mortar and pestle
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  •  3 tablespoons canola oil
  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  3 shallots, minced
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 cup rich veal or beef stock
  •  1/2 cup red wine
  •  3 tablespoons brandy
  •  1/2 cup heavy cream
  •  1 tablespoon imported Dijon mustard, preferably extra strong


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Season the steaks by rubbing then generously all over with the peppercorns and then sprinkling with the salt.
  2. 0 Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook 3 minutes per side to form a crisp coating of the pepper. Transfer the steaks to the oven to finish cooking to desired degree of doneness, about 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare meat or until a meat thermometer registers between 125 and 130 F. Let the steaks rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Discard the oil from the skillet, but try to keep any browned bits clinging to the pan. Add the butter and melt it over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, red wine, and brandy and reduce until only about a third cup of liquid remains, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cream and cook a few minutes more until lightly thickened. Just before serving, swirl in the mustard. Taste for seasoning and adjust to suit.
  4. Serve the steaks with the sauce spooned generously over them.
  5. SERVES 4

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