Steak au Poivre


what? I thought this was about frugal food!

It is!!



2 8 ounce sirloin filet steaks*                $4.00

2 tablespoons cracked pepper**         $0.25

1/2 cup white wine                                     $0.50

1/4 cup cognac                                            $1.00

1 tablespoon dijon mustard                   $0.25

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce     $0.10

3 tablespoons butter                                $0.12

1 tablespoon olive oil                              $0.08

1/2 cup heavy cream                              $0.75

Total Cost                                                     $6.55


Rub the meat with the salt and cracked pepper. (see note below about the pepper). Make sure the meat is at room temperature before you begin to cook. (If it has been refridgerated, set it out for about thirty minutes beforehand.)

Combine the wine, cognac, and mustard and throw in a little salt and pepper to that mix. Keep that ready. 

Drizzle the olive oil over a cast iron or another skilled that is NOT non-stick. (sorry for the double-negative!) Add the butter and let it melt as well. Once you see small wisps of smoke coming from the skillet, add the steaks. It should produce a nice sizzling sound. 

Flip the steaks in about 3-4 minutes (for rare to medium rare) and then cook on the other side for the same amount of time. We pull them off when the meat thermometer registers about 125 degrees. Place these under aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Add the wine/cognac mixture to deglaze (get all the sticky stuff) off of the skillet. This will violently boil/sizzle when placed in the pan – don’t panic! When it calms down a little, reduce the heat and make sure to scrape off all of the brown bits (fond) and get them mixed up in the liquid. Once the alcohol has boiled off, wisk in the cream and keep reducing the mixture until you get to your desired creaminess. 

Serve the steaks with a spoonful or two of the pan sauce ladeled overtop. ENJOY!!

  • If you’re going all out, get a beef tenderloin and do this with filet mignons. Not nearly as frugal, but very delicious!
  • * Poivre means pepper – you don’t want this to have some measely bits of ground pepper, instead, you want CRACKED PEPPER! To do this, get some whole peppercorns, and place them in a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over itself 3-4 times, enclosing the peppercorns in an envelope of sorts. Then, take a rolling pin and beat the paper towel, thus cracking the peppercorns. You want them thicker and more coarse than grinding normally does, but certainly not whole peppercorns. 


We served this with our boiled artichokes and sauteed mushrooms from the farmer’s market: