Creamy Peppercorn Sauce for Steak (Quick + Easy)

This easy Peppercorn Sauce for Steak is a steakhouse favorite, blending simple ingredients to create a rich, creamy, and indulgent sauce with a kick. It’s the perfect way to transform your everyday steak into something extraordinary!

In a world of endless steakhouse-quality steak sauces, there’s one I struggle not to eat with a spoon: this peppercorn sauce for steak. 

Creamy peppercorn sauce in small serving boat with spoon.

Besides its luxurious consistency and spicy bite, I love that this creamy steak sauce recipe is incredibly simple to put together. Peppercorns, brandy, cream, and beef broth are simmered with steak juices until you’re left with a rich sauce to drizzle over ribeye, filet mignon, or any cut you love. It adds a mouthwatering flavor with a subtly spicy kick!

Why you’ll love it

The black peppercorns in this black pepper steak sauce beautifully complement the beefy goodness of a perfectly cooked steak. Meanwhile, the brandy, beef broth, cream, and a touch of butter in the sauce create a creamy concoction with the perfect balance of richness and heat. 

It’s sophisticated, well-balanced, and even stores well for a few days. Just take your black pepper sauce out of the fridge and pour it over your favorite proteins to instantly make your meal feel like a special occasion.

Ingredients for peppercorn sauce for steak labeled on counter.

Ingredients needed

  • Brandy, cognac, or marsala – All three of these options add an elegant complexity to the sauce and complement the natural flavors of the peppercorns. Note that most of the alcohol evaporates during cooking, meaning the sauce doesn’t taste boozy.
  • Low-sodium beef broth – This is the second part of the base. You can use homemade broth or a high-quality store-bought broth.
  • Heavy cream – A splash of cream is the secret to making the sauce feel luxurious, as it imparts a silky smooth mouthfeel.
  • Peppercorns – I used coarsely crushed whole black peppercorns, but you can also use drained green peppercorns (from a jar). 
  • Butter – Adding a small amount of butter at the end of cooking (AKA “mounting” the sauce with butter) enhances the consistency and gives the sauce a silky finish.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt

How to make peppercorn sauce for steak

Are you serving this sauce with steak right away? Pan-sear your steak and save the pan juices in the skillet. They will help flavor the peppercorn sauce. 

To make black peppercorn sauce, bring the brandy/cognac/marsala to a boil in the same skillet you used to cook the steaks. Boil until the liquid has reduced.

Add the beef stock and heat to a rapid simmer. When the liquid has reduced by half, lower the heat, add the cream and whole peppercorns, and simmer until thickened. 

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt to taste, then enjoy!

Steak topped with creamy peppercorn sauce.

Tips and tricks

  • The black peppercorns give the sauce a slight kick. To tone this down, reduce the peppercorns to 1 to 2 teaspoons. For an extra kick, feel free to add more than 3 teaspoons.
  • When pouring in the cream, do so gradually, and don’t stop stirring to prevent it from curdling.
  • For a silky-smooth texture, consider straining out any coarse peppercorn bits from the sauce before serving.

Variations

  • Use green peppercorns – Swap the black peppercorns for green peppercorns to give the sauce a milder, slightly fruity, and fresher flavor.
  • Red wine reduction – Replace all or a portion of the brandy with a red wine reduction for a deeper, more robust flavor. 
  • Creamy Dijon – You can give the sauce a tangy kick by stirring in 1 to 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
  • Add mushrooms – The addition of sautéed mushrooms will complement the richness of the sauce and give it extra depth.
  • Blue cheese – If you love blue cheese with steak, then try crumbling blue cheese into the sauce for a bold, tangy bite. 
  • Add fresh herbs – Give the sauce a fragrant, herbaceous touch with fresh thyme, rosemary, or tarragon.
Sliced steak on plate drizzled with peppercorn sauce.

Serving suggestions

It’s no secret that brandy peppercorn sauce was made for steak! But when choosing a steak to pair with it, opt for decadent and naturally beefy cuts, such as:

You also aren’t limited to serving peppercorn sauce with steak. Use the leftovers throughout the week to add an extra kick to your grilled or smoked chicken, pork tenderloin, or salmon. It’s also delicious drizzled over roasted veggies, like asparagus, cauliflower, and potatoes.

FAQs

What are the best peppercorns for peppercorn sauce?

I recommend using good-quality coarsely crushed whole black peppercorns for the best flavor and a spicy kick. Green peppercorns are also a good choice when you want the sauce to be a touch milder.

Can you make this sauce without cream?

Yes. To make this peppercorn sauce recipe without cream, create a roux by combining butter and flour in a pan. Gradually whisk in the brandy and beef broth, add the black peppercorns, and let the mixture simmer until reduced. Finish the sauce with Worcestershire and butter, stirring until melted. 

Can you make this sauce without alcohol?

Yes, you can replace the brandy with extra beef broth. Just know that the finished flavor profile won’t be as complex. 

Storing

Let leftover peppercorn sauce cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

If you want to extend its shelf life, freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm it on the stove while stirring to restore its creamy consistency.

Side view of Sliced steak on plate drizzled with peppercorn sauce.

More sauces for steak

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Sliced steak on plate drizzled with peppercorn sauce.

Peppercorn Sauce for Steak

This easy Peppercorn Sauce for Steak is a steakhouse favorite, blending simple ingredients to create a rich, creamy, and indulgent sauce with a kick. It’s the perfect way to transform your everyday steak into something extraordinary!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Instructions

  • If you’re cooking steaks, save the juices in the skillet. This will help flavor the peppercorn sauce.
  • To a medium skillet, add brandy (or cognac or marsala). Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the liquid has reduced, about 1 minute.
  • Add the broth and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook 2-3 minutes, until reduced by half.
  • Reduce heat to medium, and add the cream and peppercorns. Simmer 1-2 minutes, until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, to taste.

Notes

  • Let leftover peppercorn sauce cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 
  • If you want to extend its shelf life, freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm it on the stove while stirring to restore its creamy consistency.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Skillet

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 130mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 963IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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