I made this CLASSIC Steak Au Poivre Recipe by Julia Child, OLD SCHOOL!

Renee HenertBeef, Cuts of Meat, Red Meat Lover Show, Steak, Stove, Testimonial1 Comment

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Steak Au Poivre

If you’ve been following this channel for a while, you know it’s all about my meaty food journey. I’m just a curious guy who wants to answer some questions I have about cooking and preparing delicious meat. Today on my journey, I’m making steak au poivre from the one and only:

Julia Child

I really liked her for a couple of reasons. The number one reason? Her motto was “anyone can cook”. And that’s really what I believe. That’s what this journey has been about. Also, she attributed her longevity to red meat and gin. I’m not much of a Gin drinker (say that three times in a row) so I sipped some cognac while cooking today!

Steak Au Poivre

I went old school and made the French classic “Steak Au Poivre” recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook – Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This classic steak recipe combines a LOT of peppercorns, cognac (yum!) and butter to create a delicate sauce for any cut of steak.

This is a very popular Julia Child recipe. Steak Au Poivre directly translates to “steak coated liberally with crushed peppercorns before cooking”. Typically, I salt my steaks one hour before cooking (it’s scientifically proven to make a tastier steak), but for the sake of this steak recipe, we are following Julia’s directions exactly. Once the steak is coated in peppercorns, I let the steak sit for one hour in hopes that it soaks up all the peppery goodness.

steak au poivre
steak au poivre

Fond of Fond?

Once the steak is removed from the pan, it leaves behind deliciousness on the bottom of the pan called “fond”. What the heck is fond, you ask??

Fond is a French culinary term that refers to the browned bits that remain on the pan after cooking meat or vegetables. Those browned bits are used as a base for deglazing cream and/or spirits into tasty sauces and gravy.

However, fond has a non-culinary definition as well: having an affection of or liking for. Which I don’t think is a coincidence because, here at Red Meat Lover, we are very fond of fond. Okay. Now that I got that off my chest, back to the steak!

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

steak recipe

Upon first bite, I really tasted a lot of pepper flavor. But it wasn’t too overpowering like I thought it would be. Actually, the peppercorns give the steak a nice, fresh taste. The sauce adds a savory element to the steak as well. Next time though, I will make sure to cook the sauce a little longer so it thickens up.

Would I say I mastered the art of French cooking? Not quite. I still need some practice. But I think Julia Child would appreciate the effort! And the amount of spirits consumed while making this steak recipe!

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Steak Au Poivre Recipe by Julia Child
  1. Let steaks sit out of the refrigerator for about 1 hour to come up to room temperature. Dry the steaks thoroughly on paper towels. (Julia points out that this step is very important because if the steaks are wet at all, they will not brown.)
  2. Rub and press the crushed peppercorns into both sides of the meat with your fingers and the palms of your hands. Cover with wax paper. Let stand for about a half hour so the flavor of the pepper will penetrate the meat.
  3. Heat the oil in an iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat until it nearly starts to smoke.
  4. Sear the steaks on one side for 3-4 minutes, and regulate the heat so the fat is always very hot but not burning. Flip & sear on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
  5. According to Julia, “The steak is done to a medium rare the moment you observe a little pearling of red juice beginning to ooze at the surface of the steak. Another test is to press the steak with your finger; it is medium rare when it just begins to take on a suggestion of resistance and spring in contrast to its soft raw state. If you have any doubts at all, cut a small incision in the steak.”
  6. Remove the steaks to a hot platter and season it quickly with salt and additional pepper, to taste. Keep warm while completing the sauce.
  7. Pour any fat or oil left behind out of the skillet. Add the butter and shallots and cook slowly for a minute. Pour in the stock and boil down rapidly over high heat while scraping up the coagulated cooking juices.
  8. Then add the cognac and boil rapidly for a minute or two more to evaporate its alcohol.
  9. Off heat, whisk in half-and-half slowly.
  10. Serve immediately over the steaks. Julia suggests serving the steaks with fresh watercress and sautéed or fried potatoes.

One Comment on “I made this CLASSIC Steak Au Poivre Recipe by Julia Child, OLD SCHOOL!”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Julia’s Exact recipe from her cook book. my father used to make this Years ago – it was MY favorite meal. he’d make it for special occasions. or if i begged long enough. i can’t wait to make it for myself now. FYI, too many people have decided to tweak it, so Thanks Again.

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