Sauce au Poivre is the perfect condiment for topping beef tenderloin, leftover steak, or a classic steak! This flavorful pan sauce only requires a handful of ingredients and can turn any ordinary cut of meat into a delectable main course and today it’s being paired with a juicy cast iron steak.

Overhead shot of steak in skillet with sauce and steak sliced on plate.

In this recipe:

Just like this béarnaise sauce or brandy peppercorn sauce, Sauce au Poivre is the perfect, creamy sauce for elevating a basic cooked steak! This luxurious creamy bourbon sauce usually goes on top of Steak au Poivre, a classic French dish made famous by several chefs, including Julia Child and Gordon Ramsay! With a few simple steps, you can create a creamy peppercorn sauce that will take your basic sauce recipes to new heights! 

What Is Sauce au Poivre?

This Sauce au Poivre recipe combines beef stock, umami powder, coffee rub, whole black peppercorns, butter, bourbon, heavy cream, shallots, and fresh herbs to create a flavorful cream sauce perfect for topping all kinds of cooked meat! Now you can enjoy a taste of the French classics right at home. 

Ingredients prepped on a tray.

Ingredients

for the Sauce au Poivre

  • Salt – always. 
  • Ooomami Powder, Coffee Rub, and Coarsely Ground Peppercorns – This savory coating goes on the beef, making you wish you bought more steaks. What’s ooomami powder? It’s a fine mushroom powder for adding richness. Read more about what is umami and how to use it in your cooking. 
  • Butter – Cook with unsalted butter.
  • Shallots – or garlic.
  • Beef broth – homemade roasted beef bone broth or stock.
  • Whiskey or bourbon – always use one good enough that you would drink it. 
  • Heavy Cream
  • Fresh herbs – chives, thyme, and parsley are our go-to’s for this recipe.

For the cast iron steaks

  • Strip steaks – we used strip steaks but hanger steak is traditional for this recipe
  • Kosher salt
  • Ooomami mushroom powder
  • coffee rub
  • peppercorns
  • Butter or oil for the pan

If you are preparing this over a campfire, you will need a solid cast iron pan large enough to hold your steaks without crowding the pan.

Showing a rare steak sliced on a plate with sauce atop.

Make the cast iron steaks

PREP THE FIRE

  1. Prep your campfire by building a 2 zone fire, with a cool side and a hot side. Do this by arranging your coals to one sde of the fire ring or grill.
  2. When the coals are ashed over and maintaining and even heat, place your cast iron skillet on the grill grate to pre-heat until it just behind to smoke.

PREP THE STEAKS

  1. Meanwhile, rub the steaks with a liberal sprinkle of salt, Ooomami powder, and coffee rub.
  2. Then, using your hands, press a layer of freshly cracked pepper over the surface of the steaks.

COOK THE STEAKS

  1. Add a tablespoon of butter to the cast iron pan and swirl to coat.
  2. Place the steaks in the skillet, you should hear a good sizzle.
  3. Allow the steaks to sit, without disturbing them for 3 to 5 minutes to form a good crust.
  4. Flip, only when the steak releases easily without any tugging, and cook to desired doneness. 125° for rare.
  5. Remove the steaks from the pan, tent with foil, and rest.
Steaks in hot skillet over campfire.

How to Make Sauce au Poivre

  1. Move the cast iron pan to the cooler side of the grill.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the shallots.
  3. Sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat, until soft.
  4. Add a splash of the beef broth and deglaze the bottom of the cast iron skillet, scraping up any browned bits.
  5. Add the remaining broth and maneuver the pan over the heat so the liquid simmers.
  6. Add the bourbon and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add the heavy cream and allow the liquid to simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  8. Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining butter until smooth.
Peppercorns in mortar.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Cognac or brandy also works well in this recipe!

Watch: How to make Cast iron steaks with Sauce au Poivre

Leftovers & Reheating

Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. We recommend not putting this sauce in the microwave to reheat since it can heat up too quickly. Instead, we suggest putting a small pot or saucepan on the stove and heating up the sauce so you can easily spoon it onto whatever you want! 

What to Serve With Sauce au Poivre

Serve your Sauce au Poivre alongside a medium rare steak and some beef tallow French fries, and you’ve got super flavorful steak frites! Or throw a few spoonfuls on top of a thick filet mignon for the best steak dish you’ve ever had!

Strip steak in skillet over campfire.

Recipe FAQs

​CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE HEAVY CREAM IN THIS RECIPE?

Absolutely! You can use creme fraiche, full-fat sour cream, or Greek yogurt instead! These ingredients will be bolder and add tanginess to the sauce versus the heavy cream. 

DO I HAVE TO USE FRESHLY CRUSHED PEPPERCORNS IN THIS RECIPE, OR CAN I USE PRE-GROUND BLACK PEPPER?

The freshly crushed peppercorns are part of what gives this dish its unique flavor. Pre-ground black pepper just doesn’t have the same effect!

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A CAST IRON SKILLET?

You can use a regular stainless steel skillet pan instead! As long as you’re using a hot skillet, you’ll be good!

Overhead shot of steak in skillet smothered in sauce au poivre.

More SAuce Recipes

No need to wait for special occasions to whip out this creamy pan sauce! This Sauce au Poivre will become your new favorite way to top your most-loved dishes, from topping a New York Strip to a peppercorn-crusted steak. Made with the best ingredients to infuse a depth of flavor into every bite, this creamy sauce will elevate any meal to new heights! Grab your glass of red wine, turn on some French dinner music, and fire up that skillet! Your taste buds will love you forever. Also, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment below to help out the next reader!

Cast Iron Steak with Sauce au Poivre

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Treat your taste buds to the indulgent flavors of our sauce au poivre with this cast iron steak recipe. Made with a medley of crushed peppercorns, brandy, and cream, this velvety sauce adds a layer of sophistication to your favorite meats. Drizzle generously over grilled steaks or roasted poultry for a truly decadent dining experience.

Ingredients  

For the Steaks

For the Sauce au Poivre

  • 4 tbsp butter divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup Beef broth or stock
  • 1 tsp Girl Carnivore Ooomami Powder
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream

Garnish

  • Thyme parsley, and chives
  • Flakey salt

Instructions 

Prep the fire

  • Prep your campfire by building a 2 zone fire, with a cool side and a hot side. Do this by arranging your coals to one sde of the fire ring or grill.
  • When the coals are ashed over and maintaining and even heat, place your cast iron skillet on the grill grate to pre-heat until it just behind to smoke.

Prep the steaks

  • Meanwhile, rub the steaks with a liberal sprinkle of salt, Ooomami powder, and coffee rub.
  • Then, using your hands, press a layer of freshly cracked pepper over the surface of the steaks.

Cook the steaks

  • Add a tablespoon of butter to the cast iron pan and swirl to coat.
  • Place the steaks in the skillet, you should hear a good sizzle.
  • Allow the steaks to sit, without disturbing them for 3 to 5 minutes to form a good crust.
  • Flip, only when the steak releases easily without any tugging, and cook to desired doneness. 125° for rare.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan, tent with foil, and rest.

Make the Sauce au Poivre

  • Move the cast iron pan to the cooler side of the grill.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the shallots.
  • Sauté for 3 minutes, until soft.
  • Add a splash of the beef broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add the remaining broth and maneuver the pan over the heat so that the liquid simmers.
  • Add the bourbon and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream and allow the liquid to just simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining butter until smooth.
  • Return the steaks to the pan

Garnish and serve

  • Garnish the steak au poivre with freshly minced parsley, thmye, or chives.
  • Serve the steaks from the pan and spoon additional sauce over top.

Video

Notes

A medley of black, red, and white peppercorns add extra flair to the pepper crust.
Cognac or brandy are the traditional spirits when making steak au Poivre but I dont know anyone who camps with cognac or brandy. I do know a ton of fine folks that camp with bourbon though.
Serve these cast iron campfire steak au poivre with campfire French fries or foil pack potatoes, over tossed spinach and arugula, and with crusty bread to sop up extra sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 763kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 884mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 686IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Camping, French
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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