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Pan seared juicy ribeye steaks butter basted and perfectly seared coated with crushed peppercorns and served in a rich, creamy flavourful bourbon sauce.  A classic French dish made in one pan that is so simple so delicious and perfect for a special occasion! Turn your date nights into a French inspired bistro night!

I usually make steak on special occasions or date nights and this time we were celebrating one year since our engagement in Australia! Why not turn up the heat and serve one of our favorite proteins in a delicious elegant bourbon pepper sauce and add some Parmesan truffle fries to make it more of a French inspired bistro dish.

Steak au Poivre, also known as Pepper Steak is a classic French recipe of perfectly seared steak coated with coarsely cracked peppercorns and served in a creamy cognac-based sauce. It is usually served in most steakhouses or in most French restaurants. IF you think you need to go to a fancy steakhouse to enjoy a delicious steak.. your wrong. This recipe sounds fancy and might seem intimidating because of the bourbon sauce but we promise this is a really simple steakhouse recipe you can easily make at home.

Everything is cooked in one pan, this steak recipe couldn’t be quicker to prepare and is just as easy to clean up… plus the bouron makes it extra special.. YUM

The most important part of this dish is the steak. High quality meat makes a huge difference. We decided to go with a ribeye. This cut has a lot of marbling but is perfect for searing in a cast iron pan. The heat from the pan will help melt the fat that essentially helps flavour a rich and bold sauce without having to marinate the steak overnight.

How to Make Steak Au Poivre?

First you want to make sure your steak sits at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Pat the steak dry and season both sides with salt this will help dry out the meat so that the crushed peppercorns will stick better. Using a mortar and pestle (or the bottom of a heavy skillet, in case you don’t have one), coarsely crush the black and pink peppercorns and spread them evenly on a plate. Then press the steaks into the peppered plate to evenly coat both sides.

Next you’ll need to heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes before you add the oil. I’m using oil since butter has a low smoke point and so we can properly sear the steaks nicely and evenly. Gently place the seasoned steaks and sear for about 4 minutes each side for a medium-rare.  You’ll only be flipping the steak once and if your pan starts to look dry before your ready to flip just add some butter to help moisten your steak and avoid burning one side. As always, adjust cook time based on your preferred doneness. 

Au Poivre Sauce

After you’ve cooked the steak, set it aside and tent the meat with aluminum foil. Use the same pan for the sauce. Just pour off excess fat from the pan leaving about 1-2 tablespoons to help flavour your sauce. Now add butter in the same pan and melt over medium heat.  Sauté shallots for 2 minutes scraping up brown bits, next and garlic for 1 minute until fragrant.

This is where the fancy restaurant worthy fun part of the sauce comes in. Take the pan off the heat, add bourbon or cognac and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or fire stick. Keep your face and hair away from the flame. Gently shake the pan until the flame dies or until that raw alcohol smell has burned off or evaporated. Be very careful when doing this process.

Return the pan to the heat and beef stock. Let the stock reduce for about 5 minutes and whisk in heavy cream. Bring it to a boil while stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened or reduced based on your preference.

What to Serve with Steak?

The steak alone served in the creamy sauce is already so delicious. To make this more of a bistro style dish we went with a simple side salad and some parmesean truffle fries.  This is the ideal presentation of a Steak au Poivre. There you have it, an elegant restaurant worthy steak dish ready in 30 minutes.

If you make this dish please share on social media and let us know what you think!

@thecommunalfeast #thecommunalfeast


Pan seared juicy ribeye steaks butter basted and perfectly seared coated with crushed peppercorns and served in a rich, creamy flavourful bourbon sauce.  A classic French dish made in one pan that is so simple so delicious and perfect for a special occasion! Turn your date nights into a French inspired bistro night!

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Date Night
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2
Author: the communal feast


  • 1 boneless ribeye steak about 10 oz we usually share one big piece of steak, feel free to cook your own and buy 2 steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium finely chopped shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup bourbon Makers Mark or cognac
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1. Pat the steak dry and season both sides of the ribeye with salt and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Season the steak with the crushed black and pink peppercorns all over, pressing the peppercorns into the meat so that it sticks when cooked.
  • 2. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, wait 2 minutes and add the vegetable oil. Gently place the steak in the pan and cook until the bottom develops a
    golden-brown crust, about 5 minutes. If you notice your pan getting dry just add butter to avoid burning the steak before you turn it. Remember you are only turning this steak once. Turn the steaks, then add the butter to the pan. Continue to cook, basting the steak with the melted butter until the steak is medium rare, about an additional 4 minutes. Remember you are basting the steak with butter for the entire 4 minutes it takes to finish the steak.
  • 3. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  • 4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan then return to medium-high heat. Do not wipe down the pan because this flavours the sauce. Melt a small amount of butter and
    add the shallot and sauté until the shallot is tender and opaque, about 2 minutes scraping up brown bits until the shallots are brown. Next add your minced garlic and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat, add the bourbon and carefully ignite it with a kitchen lighter (do not stand too close as there will be a flame). Allow the alcohol to burn off for about a minute, gently shake the pan until the flame dies. Return the pan to
    the heat and add the stock. Cook until the mixture has reduced by about half, about an additional 4 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and continue to cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • 5. Slice the steak into ½” strips. Divide the steak slices among plates and spoon the pan-sauce over the top. Serve immediately with a side of fries and salad.  


Date Night

March 6, 2020


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