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Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

This Steak with Peppercorn Sauce recipe is AMAZING! Whether you’re a new cook or have been cooking for years, if you haven’t tried this simple recipe you’re missing out. Packed with flavor and so easy to make!

These are my dream steaks.  Creamy, a peppery bite and all that red meat!  You can taste the cognac which is a great compliment to the green peppercorns.  Who needs to go out when you can have a steak like this at home? It’s super easy to make, too, so if you’re in the mood you should definitely give this one a try! What’s so great about this recipe is the cooking time – it’s absolutely spot-on and delivers a perfectly cooked steak!

Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Sauce

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce Ingredients

Steak Ingredients

  • Steaks: The steak you choose is up to you. This peppercorn sauce recipe works best with quality steaks such as beef tenderloin, strip, or rib-eye. Allow the steaks to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to searing.
  • Kosher salt: To season and add flavor to the steaks.
  • Black peppercorns: Black peppercorns, which are simply blanched and dried green peppercorns, add stronger flavor and aroma. Try toasting the whole peppercorns in the same sauté pan prior to grinding for a little extra flavor.

Creamy Peppercorn Sauce Ingredients

With just a few ingredients this creamy peppercorn sauce recipe takes any steak to the next level.

  • Pan juices from steak: Use the same sauté pan the steaks are cooked in as the pan drippings will make the sauce extra rich.
  • Unsalted Ghee or unsalted butter: Ghee or clarified butter is butter with the milk solids separated out and the water boiled away. Unsalted butter will work in a pinch.
  • Beef stock or broth: Add depth and richness to the sauce.
  • Cognac: Cognac is a specific type of brandy so brandy will work too. Use a non-alcoholic cognac brandy, non alcoholic red wine for booze-free version although the alcohol will burn off while cooking.
  • Heavy cream: For best results, I highly recommend heavy cream, don’t substitute with half and half or milk. Use room temperature cream for a smoother consistency and to prevent any curdling.
  • Green peppercorns in brine: Mild green peppercorns work perfectly with this creamy sauce and can be found in a jar or can, in the spice section of a grocery store.

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

How to Make Peppercorn Sauce

While this recipe is for steaks this peppercorn sauce delicious over other meats such as chicken, turkey or pork and even mushrooms!

  1. Season and sear your favorite steaks in butter and then take them out of the pan to finish in the oven. Use the same pan for the extra flavor from the steak drippings and butter.
  2. Add the beef stock to the sauté pan to release the crispy bits from the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce then add the cognac, heavy cream, and green peppercorns. Increase the heat while whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Season the cream sauce to taste with kosher salt, place the steaks on a plate and serve immediately!
Best Peppercorn Sauce Recipe

Storing Peppercorn Sauce

You save any leftover peppercorn sauce by storing it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Allow the sauce to cool prior to covering and storing.

To reheat, warm it on the stove, over medium-low heat while stirring frequently, until warmed through.

Tips & Variations

  • Digital Thermometer: I highly recommend measuring steak doneness with a digital instant-read thermometer for perfectly cooked steaks.
  • Steak Doneness: As rule of thumb, remove the steak from the heat source about ten degrees before your target internal temperature is reached. The steaks will continue to cook and rise in temperature about 10 degrees. For instance, remove from the heat source at 115-120°F for rare, 125-130°F for medium rare, and 130-135°F for medium.
  • Rest the Steaks: Once the steaks are done, let them rest on a plate or cutting board at room temperature for 5 to 7 minutes (this is called “carryover cooking”). Resting will help the steak retain its juices, continue to cook to the desired temperature and give it an amazing flavor.
  • Thicker Peppercorn Sauce: This sauce has a short cooking time so it won’t thicken up much. To thicken the peppercorn sauce more to your preference, bring to the pan to simmer until the sauce thickens.
  • Grilling: The steaks can be cooked on the grill by pan searing first and then finishing on the grill instead of the oven. Searing on the pan works best for the added flavor from the steak drippings but the cream sauce will taste great even without the drippings.
  • Non-Alcohol Cognac Flavor Enhancer: Try adding 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce if substitute the cognac with a non-alcohol substitute.
  • Peppercorn Substitute: This recipe is best with green peppercorns in the sauce but feel free to use black peppercorns or even multi-colored peppercorns, if you prefer or simply want to experiment.
  • Spice Grinder: A spice grinder works best to control the coarseness but you also use a mortar and pestle or roll them with a rolling pin in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Heavy Bottomed Sauté Pan: A heavy bottomed pan such as cast-iron is best for pan searing. One benefit of a cast-iron skillet is that the cooking surface can get very hot which is exactly what you need for cooking a steak on a stovetop. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, other pans such as an aluminum or stainless steel pan will work.
  • Garnish: Add chives for garnish.
Strip Steak Peppercorn Sauce

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Peppercorn sauce is a classic steakhouse sauce that is so easy to make at home. Packed with flavor and tastes absolutely delicious on steaks, chicken and more.


  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce), beef tenderloin, strip, or rib-eye steak
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • Pan juices from steak
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup beef stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. Sprinkle steaks with kosher salt and crushed black pepper. Heat butter in a 12-inch, heavy bottomed sauté pan over high heat. Once butter is hot, add steaks and sear until a brown crust forms, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove steaks from pan and place on a rack set on a sheet pan; place in oven for 6-7 minutes to finish cooking while you make the sauce.
    3. Add the beef stock to the same sauté pan and whisk until the crispy bits release from bottom of pan. Allow the liquid to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cognac, heavy cream, and green peppercorns to the pan. Increase heat to high and cook, whisking continually, until sauce thickens slightly, just enough to coat the back of a spoon; this will take 5 to 7 minutes.
    4. Season the sauce, to taste, with kosher salt. Place steaks on plates, top with sauce, and serve immediately.


The steaks can be cooked on the grill by pan searing first and then finishing on the grill instead of the oven. Searing on the pan works best for the added flavor from the steak drippings but the cream sauce will taste great even without the drippings.

Bake for 5-15 minutes until internal temperature is 10 degrees lower than your target internal temperature (115-120°F for rare, 125-130°F for medium rare, and 130-135°F for medium). The temperature will continue to rise while resting the steaks for 5-7 minutes.

The nutrition data is for the peppercorn sauce only since the nutrition data for different steaks varies.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

More Steak Recipes and Guides

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Saturday 14th of June 2014

I've tried this recipe variation by using sauteed crimini mushrooms and shallots and subbing whiskey for the cognac. Also very good, slightly sweeter sauce with whiskey.

the wicked noodle

Monday 16th of June 2014

Oh, that sounds great, too!


Monday 29th of July 2013

Gonna fix this for some family members on Thursday night!

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 6th of August 2013

Awesome! Let me know how it turns out!

Timeless Gourmet

Sunday 1st of November 2009

I'm with you - the craving for red meat comes on only occasionally :) but when it does, I love an alternative sauce.......and something creamy is just divine. Gorgeous front pic BTW!


Friday 9th of October 2009

We all love a good steak, and those look like beauts! GREG

jenn (Bread + Butter

Tuesday 6th of October 2009

Yum! Perfectly cooked and simple steak. What more can one ask for? This is a good ol' fashioned meal.

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