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Steak Au Poivre

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Source: Alton Brown, Good Eats
Yield: 4 Steaks
Serving Size: 1 Steak
Servings: 4

This recipe is taken from Alton Brown's Good Eats, the Tender is the Loin episode.

If you've got a nice vacuum packed PSMO Tenderloin to carve up, here's a great way to use the tournedeau steaks instead of classic filet mignon. Of course you can use tenderloin steaks from the store as well.

Before attempting this recipe, have the following safety equipment ready: A stick lighter to light the cognac from a distance, a pot lid to put out a pan fire and a fire extinguisher, just in case.

Ingredient Amount Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Prot (g)
4 Pinch 0 0 0 0
Beef, Tenderloin
32 Ounce 1536 80.8 0 188.8
Oil, Olive
1 Teaspoon 42 4.7 0 0
Pepper, Black
4 Tablespoon whole peppercorns, cracked 64 0.8 0 0
Au Poivre Sauce
Ingredient Amount Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Prot (g)
Brandy, 80 Proof
3 Ounce Cognac, VS 192 0 0 0
2 Pinch 0 0 0 0
Brandy, 80 Proof
1 Ounce Cognac, VS 64 0 0 0
Cream, Whipping
1 Cup 821 88.1 6.6 4.9
Total: 2719 174.4 6.6 193.7
Per Serving: 680 43.6 1.7 48.4


    click for a larger image
Crack the peppercorns with a mortle and pestle or put the peppercorns into a freezer bag and smash with a mallet or wine bottle. Put the cracked peppercorns into a medium bowl.

Cut the steaks to size from the tenderloin. In this picture I have cut two 10 oz. steaks.

Sprinkle with salt, then dip the steak into the peppercorns on each side until completely coated.

This picture was near the end so I was running out of pepper and had to crack some more. You should completely coat the steak with as much pepper as it will hold.

Heat your pan to high. When hot, place the steaks in the pan to sear. Leave at least 1/2" between each steak.

4 minutes per side will get you medium rare. Add a minute per side for each extra level of doneness. Remove the steaks and cover to rest.

Pour out any excess oil and continue to heat the fond (brown goodies) in the pan. When the oil starts to smoke, turn off all burners.

Pour the cognac into the pan and immediately light. WARNING: Make sure nothing is over the pan, the flames could reach up to 8 feet over the pan.


Once the flames have subsided, pour in the cream and simmer until reduced by half. Pour in an additional ounce of fresh cognac, salt to taste then return the steaks to the sauce to warm up.

Plate the steaks, and pour the remaining sauce over them.

As a warning about the dangers of this recipe, here is a picture of my eye brows. It's not immediately noticeable, but a close look shows that the one on the right (my left brow) is thinner (the hairs are shorter) because it was singed by the column of fire.

And now for the good stuff. This is from the first time I made this recipe.


Full Videos
First Time:
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22 Seconds
320x240 1.8MB

Second Time:
Window Media Video
8 Seconds
640x480 2MB

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