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The Perfect Peppercorn Sauce

How to make steak's best mate

The Perfect Peppercorn Sauce
05 April 2011

Has the recent sunny weather uncorked an insatiable craving for flame-griddled meat? You're not alone. But an expertly cooked steak is nothing without a good sauce on the side. Colin Bussey, head chef at classy London restaurant Chez Gerard (, shows us how to make punchy peppercorn sauce like a pro.

"Take your black peppercorns, crush them and encrust your steak – I recommend a nice fillet or a rib eye – with the pepper. Put this to one side."

"Now take a separate pan for the poivre sauce. Add 20 grams of shallots into 10 milliletres of rapeseed oil and soften them without changing the colour."

"Now add in more crushed black peppercorns, about five grams, increase the heat and add a good double measure of reasonable quality brandy. This will deglaze the pan and get your caramelisation going. Then add 100 millilitres of a good veal jus which you can normally find in organic delis and supermarkets now."

"Bring this to the boil and add in 100 millimetres of whipping cream. Let it all reduce until it gets to the consistency that will easily coat the back of a spoon."

"Now go back to your steaks, heat up a good heavy duty pan with about 20 millilitres of rapeseed oil, put your steaks into the pan and don’t turn them over or shake them. Let it seal for about a minute, turn them over and do the same again on each side. Those crusted peppercorns will give you a real gutsy flavour."

"Set the steaks to one side, or finish them in the oven depending on the thickness and how you like your meat cooked. Now deglaze the pan with a little bit more brandy and pour your creamy peppercorn sauce into the pan. Add a sprinkle of sea salt, finish with some chopped chives or flat leaf parsley and a teaspoon of green peppercorns to give you that sweet, crunchy flavour."

Ingredients: Good quality steaks, 60ml Rapeseed oil, Black peppercorns, Green peppercorns, 100ml Whipping cream, 20g Shallots, 100ml Veal jus, Flat leaf parsley or chives, Sea salt

Image: Rex