Peppercorn sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak, or even some roasted veg, or chicken. Creamy, rich & warming, it takes only minutes to make!
The default recipe serves 2.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp finely diced shallot
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
- 60ml / 1/4 cup cognac (see note 1,2)
- 125ml / 1/2 cup beef stock
- 85ml / 1/3 cup double (heavy) cream
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle (see note 3)
- Heat the butter in a frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until softened. (see note 4)
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring frequently to stop it sticking.
- If you want to flambé the sauce (set the alcohol alight in the pan): increase the heat to high and, standing back with outstretched arms, tilt the pan away from you. Pour in the cognac and use a long match or lighter to set the alcohol alight. Swill the pan a few times and the flame will disappear after a few moments as the alcohol burns out. (see note 5,6)
- If you don’t want to flambé the sauce: Carefully pour in the brandy, keeping it away from the flames if you are cooking on a flame/gas hob/stove. Stir everything for a minute or two until the cognac has reduced down and the alcohol evaporated.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until reduced by half.
- Add the cream and pepper and simmer for a further 2 minutes until thickened. Season to taste.
- You can use a good quality brandy instead of cognac. Or you can try with whisky for a smoky flavour.
- The alcohol burns out during the cooking process, but if you don’t want to use any alcohol you can increase the amount of stock and add a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.
- Use 1 tbsp of peppercorns before crushing. I don’t recommend milling it in a pepper grinder as you want a coarsely crushed texture. You can also place them in a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin if you don’t have a mortar and pestle.
- If you are making this to go with steak or another pan-fried meat, then you can use the same pan used to cook the steak while it rests and use any deliciously flavoured residual oil or butter.
- For safety, measure out the cognac separately into a glass before adding it to the pan.
- You can also tilt the pan slightly into the flame if you are using a gas cooker, although it is trickier to get right – and be careful!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Hob / Stove
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 320
- Fat: 26g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Protein: 1g
Keywords: sauce, pepper, cream, indulgent, steak, cognac, brandy