Steak Au Poivre is a fancy French term, that is basically steak with a shit ton, sorry, “excuse my French” of peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle or coarsely ground, in a luscious, creamy, decadent sauce of butter, cream, shallots, oh… and some cognac. Gotta love the French for making sauces so sexy! I chose to make this using sirloin tips, because for one they are inexpensive, and two, I just like them this way to be honest! Sirloin tip comes from the bottom sirloin butt, think tri-tip, if you are familiar. What I like about this is it is perfect for marinades, can hold up to grilling if you do some prep work to get it ready, for the high heat, and will work in stewing, and I have used them for stir-frying.
Now I know that this recipe is not for the faint of heart, it has some kick from the pepper, and the butter and heavy cream are not exactly figure friendly, but you could make this healthier if you use less butter, please I am begging you, don’t use margarine or spreads, you will not get richness this dish begs for, and the water content and by-products in them, will not yield satisfactory results, you could use fat-free half and half, but I went full on fat, for one, because I wanted to keep this authentically French, and secondly because some days you just need to indulge!
I hope you give this a try. It is a nice way to experience French cuisine on a less intimidating scale. You got this, promise! These steak bites were amazing and I plan on using them again for some other recipes, they are just too good not to!
Steak Bites Au Povire
A French classic that's, easy, decadent, and done in a flash!
- 2 lbs. of Sirloin tip steak or steak cubes
- 6 tbsp. of unsalted butter divided (2 for the steak, and 4 for the sauce) indulgent like I said, but worth the extra cardio
- 1/4 cup of cognac, I used Hennessey
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. of crushed whole peppercorns
- 1 whole shallot finely minced
- 1 tsp. of nutmeg (optional) rounds out flavors perfectly
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- EVOO a drizzle
For the Steak Au Poivre Bites
- Let steak rest for at least 20 minutes, at room temperature. Remove any visible fat, and the silver skin on the outer edge if present. Slice into 1 inch cubes. To crush the peppercorns, either use a mortar and pestle or place in a plastic Ziploc bag and take a rolling-pin, or flat edged meat mallet and whack away! So good for pent-up anxiety!! The Crazysexy kind! Season with Kosher salt and the cracked peppercorns encrusting the cubes as best you can. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet, over screaming high heat, (now is the time to turn on the exhaust, I have a horrible exhaust system in my cuccina, so I open my slider, and some windows or else I get a call from my alarm company about the audible fire alarm, and have had my fireman have to respond while on duty for a smoke condition, true story!) Update: On this very day, I did set off the smoke alarm, and couldn’t cancel it in time, and the fire department did come, not my fireman, it wasn’t his shift, but our brothers on another shift, so I got to say hi, and embarrassingly tell them, food on the stove, and we had a laugh, said a few passing words, how is everyone, niceties, and such, then we parted ways, and I went back to my photos!
- Any who, you want a screaming pan with a bit of EVOO, and butter to extend the smoke point because butter doesn’t play nice with high heat sometimes!
- Add steak bites, without crowding the pan, or moving around to sear nicely, allow about 45 seconds before turning. When seared well but some red juices still running, about three minutes, remove to plate, keep covered and continue in the same manner for all the steak bites.
For the sauce
- In the same skillet, heat to medium high, add in EVOO, and remaining butter, swirl the pan, add shallots and begin to loosen up the browned bits from the steak, this is money baby, and you have struck gold! Let the shallots do their thing for about 3 or 4 minutes. Off the heat grab the skillet and add in the cognac, unless you like the way you look with no eyebrows, meaning this can flare up! Let the cognac intensify and reduce about three minutes or so. Add in cream and let sauce boil for about five minutes. Add in remaining 2 tbsp. of butter, add steak bites back to pan, and heat a minute or two, and remove. Serve with my Duchess Potatoes with Garlic Butter
** If you are using the same cast iron skillet, to make the sauce, which I did, this sauce tends to oxidize and instead of a creamy white, you will get, a deeper color from the cognac, this almost brownish, darker color, is just a chemical reaction from the cast iron not being coated. It does not affect taste at all! If you prefer a lighter sauce color, you can use a separate saute pan for the sauce, or cook steak from the start, in a clad stainless steel pan, that will prevent this. Just transfer the browned bits and juice from the steak for flavor. I prefer cast iron for this, because it gives the steak that steak house sear!