Thick filets are seasoned and cooked to perfection in this simple steak au poivre dish! The beef is finished off with a silky yet simple cognac sauce that elevates this beef dish into something romantic and elegant!
I never believed in Valentine’s Day. When I was a teenager and well into my college years, I would scoff at the mere mention of Valentine’s Day. I constantly proclaimed that I thought it wasn’t a true holiday, it was just some scheme that card and candy companies made up to make money. I thought I was so clever.
I think Valentine’s Day was more stressful for me as a single woman and that had a lot to do with my dislike for the holiday.
But I’m not so cynical anymore. I love treating the kids to special heart-shaped surprises and little trinkets and gifts.
I definitely love coming up with romantic meals for my husband! Last year we indulged in this Easy Steak Alfredo recipe and it did not disappoint!
This year I’m serving up beef again, but this time it will be thick, juicy filet mignons!
What Is Steak Au Poivre?
Steak au Poivre is a French peppery steak dish; the beef is often a filet mignon and each filet is crusted with crushed peppercorns and then finished off with a brandy infused sauce.
The key to this dish is using good, quality beef!
Beef is the centerpiece of a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. Premium roasts, like Ribeye, Rib, Tenderloin, or this filet mignon are popular, especially for special occasions.
But you could use more economical roast cuts like Round Tip, Top Sirloin, Flat Iron and Eye Round.
And you know, the best gift you can give those you love is a healthy diet. A 3-oz serving of beef provides 25 grams of protein and ten essential nutrients, wrapped up in one tasty package.
How To Make This Steak Au Poivre Recipe?
To begin lets first talk about the beef. Filet mignon is one of the pricier cuts of beef so you want to make sure you get the best filets possible.
This cut is often one of the thicker cuts of beef and it is melt in your mouth tender. The cut comes from the small end of the tenderloin which is found on the back of the rib cage.
Look for USDA choice and prime grades when shopping for filets.
The prime grade has the fattest marbling, which makes it the most tender and flavorful. However, the prime grade is often only found at high-end butcher shops and will cost you more money,
Choice grade is more readily available in supermarkets and is a better value for your money. You will still get an excellent steak!
Choose the lighter-colored steaks over dark red as this indicates more marbling. You will want steaks of the same shape and thickness for even cooking. The steaks should be firm to the touch.
Pat the filets dry and season both sides with kosher salt.
Crack peppercorns (although a good quality pepper mix can be used instead) then press the black pepper into both sides of the filets.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add butter and oil, swirling to coat. Add the steaks into the hot skillet and saute steaks for 6 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Transfer steaks to a plate and keep warm
Add butter to the hot skillet and heat shallots until soft.
Add cognac to the hot skillet (removing the skillet from any open flames before pouring for safety), stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Add heavy cream and stirring occasionally, heat until the pan sauce is reduced by half.
Serve the sauce with the peppered cooked steaks.
What Wine To Serve With Steak Au Poivre?
Which wine variety overall is most “beef flexible”?
Cabernet Sauvignon. Among the most powerful and concentrated red variety, cabernet sauvignon
can also be elegant.
For its part, beef has a flavor that’s bold and refined. In this way, cabernet “mirrors” beef, creating a whole that’s greater than the sum of the parts.
Cabernet sauvignon also possesses a considerable amount of tannin, which gives it the structure and intensity to pair well with beef.
How does marbling affect wine?
Since fat is a carrier of flavor, marbling gives beef richness. The more marbling the beef has, the more dense and concentrated the wine should be. A well-marbled piece of beef should not be served with a light-bodied wine, since the wine will taste frail next to all that beefy flavor. Instead, opt for a wine that’s muscular enough to balance the beef’s richness.
Does the cut of beef matter when choosing wine?
Certain cuts of beef like flank steak and chuck are often very flavorful. Simple, fruity merlots and zinfandels work well, as do most inexpensive reds from Australia—which are super-fruity and usually soft as velvet.
“Middle meat” cuts from the rib and loin—like tenderloin, strip steak and prime rib—are at their best with more sophisticated, complex (expensive) wine.
What To Serve With Steak Au Poivre?
This dish is quite rich and filling, you don’t need too many sides. A loaf of good crusty bread is needed to soak up the sauce but aside from that, I recommend these cheesy mashed potatoes, a spinach salad, or this leek risotto as your steak side dishes!
More Beef Recipes
Steak au Poivre
Thick beef filets are coated in lots of cracked pepper and then cooked to perfection! A simple cognac pan sauce is drizzled over the filet just before serving!
- 2 filet mignons
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup shallots
- ⅓ cup cognac
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Pat each filet dry and season both sides with kosher salt.
- Crack peppercorns (although a good quality pepper mix can be used instead) then press the black pepper into both sides of the filets.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add butter and oil, swirling to coat. Add the steaks into the hot skillet and saute steaks for 6 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Transfer steaks to a plate and keep warm
- Add butter to the hot skillet and heat shallots until soft.
- Add cognac to the hot skillet (removing the skillet from any open flames before pouring for safety), stirring and scraping up any brown bits.
- Add heavy cream and stirring occasionally, heat until the pan sauce is reduced by half.
- Serve the sauce with the peppered cooked steaks.
Amount Per Serving Calories 897Total Fat 76gSaturated Fat 41gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 247mgSodium 2289mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 27g
Pamela Byington says
What can I use non-alcoholic instead of cognac? Thank you
Tanya Schroeder says
Pamela, after you add the butter and shallots, hit the skillet with a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar. Then increase the heavy cream by a tablespoon or two. That will give a little flavor without the alcohol.