Strip Steaks au Poivre

Strip Steaks au Poivre

I recently got a text from my husband, who was having dinner at beloved all-day café/market/dream restaurant Gjusta in Venice, California. He was eating steak au poivre (a French dish of steak drenched in creamy pepper sauce) and just absolutely LOVING every minute of it. “I think you should bring back the steak au poivre” was what it said. A week later, this recipe was born and that was that.

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  • 1 large shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 thyme sprigs


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  • 2 (1½-inch-thick) New York strip steaks (about 1½ pounds total)


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • â…“ cup cognac, dry sherry, or brandy


Prep Your Mise

  1. Pat 2 New York strip steaks dry with paper towels. Season all over with 2½ teaspoons kosher salt and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.*  Finely chop 1 large shallot.
  2. Thinly slice 2 garlic cloves. Firmly smash 2 additional garlic cloves to really break them open so that they are able to release a lot of flavor when they hit the skillet.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns in a sealable plastic bag, seal the bag, place it on your countertop, and crush with the bottom of a small saucepan to coarsely crack them. If you have a mortar and pestle, use that! They should be coarser than ground black pepper.

Cook the steaks

  1. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the skillet. Add the steaks and cook, undisturbed, until a deep golden brown crust forms underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until equally golden brown, 3 minutes longer. (If the steaks have a fat cap, upend them on their sides, stabilizing them with tongs, and sear the edges, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per edge.)


  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 3 thyme sprigs, and the 2 smashed garlic cloves to the pan. Use a spoon to continuously baste the steak, about 2 minutes. If you’ve never basted a steak and want to learn how, right this way! Insert your instantread thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Once it registers 120°F, transfer it to a cutting board to rest.

Make the pan sauce

  1. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet along with the sliced garlic, shallot, and crushed peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot and garlic are softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes.**
  2. Turn off the heat (cognac is flammable!) and add â…“ cup cognac. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook until the cognac has mostly evaporated and your spoon leaves streaks in the skillet when you stir, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add ½ cup heavy cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until it coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Season with kosher salt.


  1. Slice the steak against the grain. Not sure what the grain is or how to find it? Right this way. Transfer to a serving platter.
  2. Pour any resting juices back into the skillet and stir them into the sauce. Spoon the sauce generously over the steak, season with flaky sea salt, and serve immediately.***

*This will give the salt a chance to penetrate the meat, so it won’t fall off the steaks when you sear them.

**Cooking the peppercorns helps bloom their flavor and infuses the butter with peppery heat in a way that simply stirring them in at the end does not.

***The sauce will thicken and congeal as it cools down, and it won’t feel as luxurious on your palate.

Reprinted from Cook This Book. Copyright © 2021 by Molly Baz. Photographs copyright © 2021 by PEDEN+MUNK. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

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