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Steak au Poivre

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  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks, 6 ounces each, cut 1-1 ½ inch thick
  • Smokin’ Texas Gourmet Garlic, Salt, and Pepper (GSP)
  • 1 tbls coarsely crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarsely crushed Sichuan red pepper
  • 2 tbls unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 ½ cups rich beef stock
  • 1 tbls Cognac (can substitute a good bourbon)
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 bunch watercress, for garnish


  1. Put steaks in a shallow dish and season well on both sides with GSP.
  2. Sprinkle black pepper and Sichuan red pepper evenly over steaks. Press pepper into both sides with hands and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Put a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When surface is nearly smoking, swirl 1 tbls butter in the pan and add steaks. Adjust heat as necessary to keep steaks sizzling briskly.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on first side; seared side should be nicely browned. (Medium-Rare dependent on thickness)
  5. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer steaks to a warm platter.
  6. Make the sauce:
    1. Add 1 tbls butter to the pan
    2. Add shallots and sauté for 1 minute, stirring, until they begin to brown
    3. Add broth and bring to a brisk simmer
    4. Add Cognac and continue to simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes
    5. Stir in crème fraiche and cook until sauce is lightly thickened
  7. Return steaks to pan to warm, spooning sauce over them and turning once
  8. Arrange steaks on platter or individual plates and top with more sauce
  9. Garnish with bouquets of watercress and serve

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