Laura the Gastronaut > Julia Child > Meat > Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce

Steak au Poivre

September 13, 2019 | Updated August 18, 2023 | Laura

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Julia Child's Steak au Poivre

✽ Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I | Julia Child ✽

Julia Child Recipes 43-44 | 484 recipes to go!

✽ Steak au Poivre [Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce], p. 296
✽ Carottes Étuvées au Beurre [Carrots Braised in Butter], p. 477


✽ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I which contains these recipes here. (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Julia Child section of my blog is to document my journey of learning how to cook. To show my successes, my failures, and what I learned along the way.

Since I didn't create these recipes (if only!), I do not post exact amounts of ingredients or word-for-word instructions. If any of these recipes spark your interest, I highly recommend you buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (affiliate link). It's a great investment and learning tool and contains hundreds of classic recipes.

I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts, learn something new, and leave inspired to try a new recipe. Bon appétit!


Butter Count & Cost: Steak au Poivre & Buttered Carrots

✽ Butter Count: +6.5 TB

✽ Cost: $25.33 [~$4.22 per serving]

- Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce= $23.74 [4-6 servings]
- Carrots Braised in Butter= $1.58 [6 servings]

Check out the total Julia Child butter count & cost here!

→ Looking for a different Julia Child recipe? Here's a list of all of the completed and pending Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes!

Okay, let’s be real about this steak right here.

If you have never made or eaten Steak au Poivre, stop what you are doing and make it now.

And if you are anything like how I used to be, you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t know even how to make steak on the stove.” But let me reassure you, it’s easier than you’ve ever imagined. Put it in a skillet and let it cook. The first few times you make it, it’s totally acceptable to take a knife to it to see if it is ready to take off the heat. Trust me- your taste buds will thank you.

This recipe does have brandy in it, but you will not be flaming the brandy. Sorry to those who like to take risks. Julia clearly states that flaming the brandy with this recipe is only for when restaurants want to show-off for the tourists. When cooking with the brandy this way, too much alcohol stays in the brandy and spoils the taste of the steak.

Looking for more Julia Child steak recipes to read about?

→ Check out all of the meat recipes that I've completed so far!

How to Make Steak au Poivre

✽ Step 1: Crush Peppercorns

First, you will put crush peppercorns all over the steak. This will become the delicious crust of the steak.

Julia Child Steak au Poivre

✽ Step 2: Let Steaks Sit

This is where I wished I would have had more time when making this recipe because the longer you can let that steak sit with the peppercorns and really let them get to know each other, the better the flavor will be. But I can confirm that even only 30 minutes will provide pretty good flavor.

✽ Step 3: Saute Steak

Julia Child Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce

Next, you will sauté the steak in oil and butter in the exact same way that I discussed in the previous steak recipes.

✽ Step 4: Make Brandy Sauce

Then it’s sauce time! This sauce is absolutely delicious and pairs so well with the peppercorns. It consists of butter, shallot, and beef bouillon which is boiled down to make a reduction.

Make sure you scrape up that delicious flavor that was left in the bottom of the skillet from the steak.

Next, add in the cognac and boil down some more. Lastly, butter is added to the sauce.

I partially cheated with the recipe and skipped making the potatoes and decorating with water cress.. I feel bad about it now. I won’t do it again.

How to Make Carrots Braised in Butter

I made carrots to go with the steak. If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times- the carrot recipes in this cookbook are so good. Hands down, the best.

These carrots are so simple but so delicious. You basically just put the carrots, sugar, water, butter, and salt in a saucepan and let them boil slowly for 30-40 minutes. Yes, 40 minutes! I think that is a little bit of overkill, but they taste good. Correct the seasoning, and there you have it!

Julia Child Carrots


Edit: These pictures are.. not great. I apologize. When making these early recipes I was working in an extremely tiny kitchen that had pratically zero counter space and very poor lighting. My only saving grace was that somebody once had one of those pull-out cutting boards installed. What a life saver.

I was also in pharmacy school, getting minimal sleep, working for free, completely broke, didn't know the first thing about taking photos, and knew practically nothing about French cooking (or cooking in general for that matter).

I've debated taking these old posts down but decided to keep them up because they are all a part of my journey. These photos and my written struggles remind me how far I've come. I can pretty much make some of these base recipes in my sleep now!

You don't need fancy equipment or the finest ingredients to enjoy cooking and make good food. As one of my favorite cartoon characters, Ms. Frizzle, says, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

*This blog, Laura the Gastronaut, and this post were/are not endorsed or supported by Julia Child or The Julia Child Foundation.

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Category: Julia Child, Meat, Vegetables Cuisine: French
Keywords: julia child steak au poivre, peppered steak recipe, julia child carrot recipes

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More Steak Recipes:

Bifteck Saute with Bearnaise Sauce (you can't go wrong with a steak covered in bearnaise)
Tournedos Sautes aux Champignons (delicious steak covered with wine sauce and mushrooms)
Tournedos Rossini (a very fancy steak dinner complete with foie gras, truffles, and Madeira sauce)
→ Check out all of the completed Julia Child meat recipes!

✽ You can find this recipe and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (affiliate link).
→ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ Check out my Julia Child Recipe Checklist to see a list of all my completed and pending recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

Bon appétit!

September 13, 2019 by Laura Ehlers

*This Steak au Poivre blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.