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Searching for an impressive, hearty dinner? Look no further than this steak au poivre! This delectable French dish consists of peppercorn-crusted beef tenderloins coated in a garlic herb cream sauce. It’s so flavorful, so delicious, and perfect for any occasion!

Whether it’s a special occasion or just a weeknight dinner, steak is a great choice! Here are a few more recipes you’re sure to love: perfectly juicy grilled steak, steak Diane, or cube steaks with mushroom gravy!

Hero image of a creamy sauce being poured over a steak.

What is Steak au Poivre?

Steak au poivre is a French dish that’s all about flavor and indulgence. You start with tenderloin steaks, seasoning them with salt and covering them in crushed peppercorns for a spicy crust. Then you sear the steaks until they’re perfectly cooked, with a nice crispy outside and juicy inside. They’re so tender and delicious, you will love every bite!

But what makes steak au poivre really special is the creamy sauce that goes with it. After you take out the steaks, you use the leftover flavors in the pan to make the sauce. You sauté butter, thyme, and garlic to make it extra tasty! Then you add beef stock and heavy cream, which make the sauce rich and thick. When you pour that sauce over the steaks, it adds a burst of delicious flavor that is truly irresistible. The spicy pepper crust and the smooth creamy sauce are the best combination!

Ingredients for Steak and Sauce

Juicy tenderloin steaks coated in crushed peppercorns, simmered in a creamy sauce with garlic, thyme, and a touch of richness from butter and heavy cream. Using these ingredients, you can create pure indulgence on a plate! Check out the recipe card at the end of the post for exact measurements.

  1. Beef Tenderloin Steaks: These are thick and juicy cuts of beef, known for their tenderness. You can use other cuts like ribeye or striploin if you prefer, but tenderloin is the traditional choice for steak au poivre.
  2. Salt: This is your trusty flavor enhancer. It helps to bring out the natural savory goodness of the steaks.
  3. Freshly Crushed Peppercorns: These give the steak its distinctive crust. When you crush whole peppercorns, you release their intense, spicy flavor. It’s the perfect layer of seasoning!
  4. Olive Oil: Helps with browning the steaks.
  5. Unsalted Butter: Brings an indulgent and creamy element to the dish. As it melts, it coats the steaks and adds richness to the sauce.
  6. Thyme: This herb adds an aromatic and earthy note to the dish. Fresh herbs are always a great addition when making steaks at home.
  7. Minced Garlic: Adds a wonderful savory flavor to the steak.
  8. Beef Stock: This liquid gold is the foundation of the sauce. It provides a savory and meaty base to enhance the flavors. If you don’t have beef stock, you can use beef broth or even chicken stock as a substitute.
  9. Heavy Cream: This is where the steak au poivre sauce gets its luscious and velvety texture. The cream adds richness and smoothness to balance out the peppery heat. If you prefer a lighter option, you can use half-and-half or whole milk, but the sauce won’t be quite as decadent.

Steak au Poivre Recipe

Before you dive into making steak au poivre, here’s a friendly tip: this French dish is all about big, bold flavors and pure indulgence. The secret to nailing it is finding that perfect harmony between the spicy pepper crust and the creamy sauce. Get ready for a taste sensation that’ll leave you craving seconds!

  1. Salt Steaks: Rub the steaks with salt and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Peppercorn Crust: Coarsely grind or crush whole peppercorns and pour them onto a plate. Then press each steak into the peppercorns creating a crust on the top and bottom.
  3. Sear: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the room temperature, pepper-covered steaks to the hot pan, and then cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer to Plate: Remove the steaks from the pan and place them on a plate, lightly covered in foil.
  5. Prepare Sauce: Add your butter, thyme, and garlic to the pan. Then sauté for about 5 minutes.
  6. Mix in Remaining Ingredients: Add in the beef stock and heavy cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Bring heat down to low and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  7. Serve: Enjoy steaks fresh with the cream sauce drizzled over the top.
4-photo collage of steak au poivre being prepared.

Tips for Making the Best Steak au Poivre

Before you jump into making a scrumptious steak au poivre, here are a few handy tips to set you up for success. These pointers will help you nail the perfect tenderness, peppery goodness, and creamy sauce!

  • Let Your Steaks Come to Room Temperature: Give your tenderloin steaks some time to hang out at room temperature before cooking them. This helps them cook evenly and stay juicy throughout.
  • Crush Your Peppercorns: Use freshly crushed peppercorns for a tasty pepper crust. Give them a good smash to add some texture and release all that amazing flavor. A mortar and pestle or a spice grinder can do the job.
  • Sear the Steaks at High Heat: Use a hot skillet or grill and cook the steaks over medium-high heat. Searing them quickly on both sides forms a delicious crust while keeping the inside tender.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: To achieve the desired level of doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steaks. Medium-rare typically ranges from 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit, but adjust according to your preference.
  • Allow the Steaks to Rest: After cooking, let the steaks rest for a few minutes before cutting into them. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a super moist and tender steak.
  • Serve With: Green beans, asparagus, or roasted or mashed potatoes!
Top-down view of 4 steaks on a white serving dish.

Storing Leftovers

If possible, store your steaks and sauce separately for the best results. This way, the steak won’t become too saturated with the sauce and lose its original texture.

  • In the Refrigerator: Both the sauce and the steaks will stay good in airtight containers for about 4 days.
  • Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your steak au poivre again, you can reheat it gently in a skillet over low heat, ensuring not to overcook the steak.
Closeup of sliced steak au poivre.

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Steak Au Poivre

By: Alyssa Rivers
Searching for an impressive, hearty dinner? Look no further than this steak au poivre! This delectable French dish consists of peppercorn-crusted beef tenderloins coated in a garlic herb cream sauce. It’s so flavorful, so delicious, and perfect for any occasion!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 6-8 ounces each
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly crushed peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Instructions 

  • Rub the steaks with salt and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  • Coarsely grind or crush whole peppercorns and pour them onto a plate. Press each steak into the peppercorns creating a crust on the top and bottom.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the room temperature, pepper-covered steaks to the hot pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan and place them on a plate, lightly covered in foil.
  • Add your butter, thyme, and garlic to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the beef stock and heavy cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Bring heat down to low and simmer until the sauce thickens
  • Enjoy steaks fresh with the cream sauce drizzled over the top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1steakCalories: 552kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 52gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 822mgPotassium: 909mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 855IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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