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Steak Au Poivre

Classic steak au poivre is one of my favourite dishes to cook every couple of months. Candles lit on the table, a gorgeous full-bodied red wine poured, jazzy music on, and I’m in heaven getting this on the hob. It is so delicious, and one of the simplest recipes in the book. I use double cream, but you could use full fat crème fraîche, which will give it a tangy flavour. Serve it up with buttery mashed potato, green beans or a salad.


30 Minutes

Serves 2



2 sirloin steaks, weighing about 150g (5.oz) each

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pepper sauce

185ml (6.fl oz) beef broth

125ml (4fl oz) double cream

3 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns

185ml (6.fl oz) beef broth

125ml (4fl oz) double cream

3 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns


1. First, remove the steaks from the fridge and put on a plate 20 minutes before you want to cook them. If you have longer, you can do this at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the meat comes up to room temperature – it will result in a more tender meat.


2. The pepper sauce is so simple to make. Just place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir. Once the sauce starts to come to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add more black pepper if you wish.


3. Heat a griddle or frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Lightly brush the steaks with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the steaks in the hot pan and cook to the following times:


• Medium-rare: 2 minutes on each side

• Medium: 2. minutes on each side

• Medium-well done: 3 minutes on each side


4. Let the steaks rest for about 3 minutes before serving to allow the juices that have been drawn to the surface to relax back into the meat.


5. Serve the steaks with the pepper sauce poured over the top.


This recipe is from In Minutes by Clodagh McKenna.


For a vegan alternative for your Valentine’s meal, try these Peking Mushroom Pancakes from Asian Green by Ching-He Huang