Go Back
+ servings
Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn-Crusted) with Oven Fries| WednesdayNightCafe.com

Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn-Crusted) with Oven Fries

Beef tenderloin steaks are crusted with peppercorns and served with an easy cognac cream sauce (no flambéing!) Enjoy this classic French bistro meal with oven fries, a green salad, and a bold red wine.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Author Tara Leung



  • 2 (6-8 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks (aka filet mignon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into thin fries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper



  1. Salt steaks: Rub kosher salt all over steaks on both sides. Leave steaks out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
  2. Toast peppercorns: Heat a skillet large enough to hold both steaks over medium heat. Add peppercorns and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn. Transfer peppercorns to a plate to cool.
  3. If you are making the oven fries, at this point, skip to the Fries part of the recipe and begin making those. After the fries go into the oven, continue with steps below to cook the steak.
  4. Crush peppercorns and coat steak: Put peppercorns in a Ziploc bag, push out extra air, and seal closed. Place the bag over a cutting board. Use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy pan to pound the peppercorns until they are crushed. (You want most of the peppercorns to be broken into halves or quarters, not ground up.) Spread out crushed peppercorns on a plate. Press the steaks into the crushed peppercorns on both sides to coat. Discard remaining peppercorns.
  5. Cook steak: Heat oil in the same skillet used to toast peppercorns over medium heat. Add steaks and cook for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Don’t let the heat get too high or peppercorns will burn. Remove steaks to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  6. Make the sauce while steak rests: Use the same skillet the steaks were cooked in, but remove from stove. Pour in cognac and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Put back on stove and cook over medium-high heat until brandy is mostly evaporated. Pour in beef broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes to reduce. Add cream and boil until thickened, about 3 more minutes.
  7. Spoon sauce over steaks just before serving.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 2 baking pans generously with cooking spray.
  2. Divide potatoes between the 2 pans. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over each pan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss potatoes so they get evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Lay out in a single layer on each pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip over and bake for 10-12 more minutes, until fries are browned and slightly crispy. If the fries are done before the steak is ready, put them back in the oven for the last few minutes as you’re making the sauce to keep them hot and crispy.

Recipe Notes

If making with a larger steak, like a ribeye or strip steak, double the amount of sauce.