Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon (Steak au Poivre)
Frequently seen on steakhouse menus, Steak au Poivre is a French term for steaks that have been crusted in coarsely cracked peppercorns before cooking. You can make this with any tender, boneless cut of steak but the most common choice is filet mignon. The recipe is very simple – crust the steaks in a combination of peppercorns and salt, sear them in a hot pan, pop them in the oven to finish the cooking and top with a pat of parsley butter before serving.
- 4 (1-inch thick) filet mignons
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns, coarsely cracked (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the parsley butter:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- About 45 minutes before you're ready to serve, prepare the parsley butter (Beurre Maître D'Hotel). Thoroughly combine the softened butter, salt, parsley and lemon juice in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a 3-inch long round log. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the peppercorns and salt in a small zip-top freezer bag. Lay on a flat surface and using a rolling pin, crush the peppercorns to a coarse, relatively uniform consistency.
- Brush one side of the steaks with olive oil and season them evenly with half of the pepper mixture. Rub the pepper into the meat using the back of a spoon, turn the steaks and repeat the process.
- Add a thin coating of olive oil to bottom of a heavy oven proof skillet (we recommend cast iron) and place over high heat.
- Add the steaks and sear just long enough for them to release easily from the pan, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 4 minutes for medium rare.
- Remove the steaks from the oven, top each with a pat of parsley butter and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
About the steaks:
As mentioned above, we always use filet mignon for this recipe, but any tender, boneless steak suitable for grilling or broiling will work. You may have to adjust the finishing time in the oven, depending on the thickness.
About the peppercorns:
We used a combination of black, green and pink peppercorns because we like the somewhat milder flavor that the green and pink varieties impart. You can certainly use all black peppercorns if desired and up the quantity a bit if you like a very spicy pepper flavor.