This indulgent peppercorn sauce recipe takes your flawlessly seared steaks to the next level. Reminiscent of fancy steakhouses and romantic date nights, this is the perfect sauce to complete a juicy steak dinner.
When it comes to steak sauce, this is one of our favorites. It’s rich, indulgent, and reminds us of white tablecloth service at 5-star restaurants. Like all good sauces, tho, it’s best paired with things it will compliment and accentuate, not overpower. Peppercorn steak sauce goes great on leaner delicious steak recipes, spooned over pan-seared filet mignon, sirloin steaks, or beef tenderloin roasts.
Plan ahead when you’re going to cook steak on any special occasion (or just because); all you need are a handful of ingredients to create this rich sauce. Cook the sauce in the same pan as the steak for bonus flavor.
What Is Peppercorn Sauce?
Peppercorn sauce is a popular steak sauce typically used in fancy steakhouses to give the steak a depth of spicy and smoky flavor. It’s ideal for mild cuts, like filet mignon, that have an incredibly tender texture but lacks a robust meaty flavor. But this recipe is also amazing over pork chops or chicken.
Girl Carnivore Pro Tip
This recipe is best using the same pan that just cooked steak without washing it in between. Simply make this lovely sauce directly in the pan while the steaks rest. The steak drippings add a fantastic depth to this great recipe, and when you deglaze, you get an even more meaty flavor.
Peppercorn Sauce Ingredients
- Butter – we always use unsalted butter
- Brandy or cognac – see our notes below
- GirlCarnivore Oooomami, my umami mushroom powder or your favorite mushroom powdered. Worcestershire sauce is another great way to add umami if you don’t have mushroom powder.
- Sprigs Tarragon, thyme, or rosemary
- Black Peppercorns or thick-grain crushed black pepper. We like to use a mix of whole peppercorns and crushed peppercorns to add texture and flavor. You can grind these in a traditional mortar and pestle for a rustic mix of thicker crushed peppercorns. We don’t recommend a spice grinder as it can quickly make the pepper too fine.
- Beef stock – bone broth or beef broth also work.
- Heavy cream
How to Make Peppercorn Sauce
- Add the butter to a large cast iron skillet preheated over medium to medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and saute until translucent.
- Deglaze with a splash of brandy by carefully pouring in a little. The cool liquid hitting the hot pan will instantly bubble, steam, and boil rapidly, so use caution. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan (see our suggestion above about using a pan that just cooked a steak in it for even more flavor). Then, allow the liquor to simmer and reduce by half.
- Then reduce the heat to medium high and slowly add in the beef stock, fresh tarragon, and peppercorns; whisk to combine.
- Simmer for another 3-5 minutes before removing the pan from the heat and slowly adding in the cream.
- Next, return to medium-low heat and simmer until the peppercorn sauce thickens and has reduced by half, which will take another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Finally, remove the tarragon stems and season with salt to taste. If you want a fresh color, add a little fresh minced tarragon at the end before serving.
Expert Recipe Tips
We use brandy in this peppercorn sauce recipe, but bourbon, cognac, or whiskey will also work. The liquor does cook out, leaving a subtle unique flavor from the brandy. However, adding extra beef broth or stock will work if you are opposed to using spirits in your cooking.
Really want to take this recipe up a notch? Add sauteed portobello mushrooms to this delicious sauce just at the end before spooning over the steaks.
We use tarragon for a subtle herb flavor to emphasize our favorite steaks, but rosemary and thyme will both work in this recipe. Just keep in mind rosemary is a stronger, more pungent herb.
Leftovers and Storage
Refrigerator: You can store this sauce in the refrigerator for up to three days in an air-tight container, but if you don’t use it by then, we recommend discarding it. Simply allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and reheat it in a small frying pan over low heat before serving.
We do not recommend freezing this sauce for later.
What Does Peppercorn Sauce Taste Like?
Brandy Peppercorn Sauce will have a mild taste of pepper from the whole peppercorns that’s cut and mellowed by the smooth rich sauce. This creamy peppercorn sauce recipe has a hint of brandy and is made even richer by simmering beef stock, Oooomami mushroom powdered to accentuate the deep umami flavor, and tarragon.
I hope you enjoy this black peppercorn sauce recipe. Have you made your own homemade pepper sauce before? If not, how easy or difficult did you find this recipe? Did it taste as you expected? Let me know, rate this recipe, and leave feedback in the comments below.
Brandy Peppercorn Sauce for steaks
- 1 Shallot minced
- 2 tbsp Butter divided
- ½ cup Brandy
- 1 tsp ooomami
- 2 sprigs Tarragon
- 1 tbsp Peppercorn
- ½ cup Stock
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- Add the butter to a large cast iron skillet preheated over medium to medium-high heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add the shallots and saute until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Deglaze with a splash of brandy by carefully pouring in a little and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Simmer and reduce the liquid by half
- slowly add in the beef stock, fresh tarragon, and peppercorns; whisk to combine.
- Simmer for 3 to 5 minus.
- Remove from heat and add the cream, stirring to combine.
- Return to the skillet to medium-low heat and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes longer being sure not to let the liquid come to a rolling boil.
- Remove from heat and discard the tarragon sprigs. If desired, add freshly minced tarragon for a pop of color.
- Season with salt to taste and serve immediately over your favorite steak.