How to make steak soup or poivre

Photo: Lucy Schaefer. Food curator: Spencer Richards

Steak au poivre is a classic French dish (not to be confused with Diane steak), usually made with filet mignon or sirloin topped with a creamy sauce and pepper. The sauce is totally drinkable and made to be eaten with the spoon, so we thought – let’s drink it! Super thinly sliced ​​grilled fillets or sirloin make for the perfect spoonful bite. And of course, we added hearty baby potatoes to make this meal complete and satisfying. This soup is simple enough for a week but impressive enough for a date night. Here are some tips to help you master it.

Don’t skip the waxy potatoes. Waxy potatoes have few benefits over starchy fermented potatoes. They hold their shape better in soups and stews and require less prep time (no peeling!). Using a combination of red and yellow potatoes also results in an eye-catching presentation. Adding potatoes to the soup raw will allow some of the starch from the potatoes to thicken the soup.

Stick to a lean steak. Filet mignon may seem too much for a stew, but there’s a way to the madness. Soup is usually a medium for tough meats that need a long cooking time to become tender. Since this is a quick-cooking stew, the meat should already be tender so you won’t chew every bite over the ages. Filet Mignon is the king of tender steaks and will ensure a juicy bite in every spoonful. If you still can’t justify paying that much cash, try a more economical but still tender cut like sirloin.

Try different add-ons! Fried leeks are just the start. Try different toppings to make this soup your own.

Store any leftovers in airtight containers (keeping soup and steaks separate) for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Preparation time:





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3 tablespoons.

whole black pepper


(4 ounces) filet mignon or 2 (8 ounces) sirloin steak, cut in half

1/2 c.

Plus 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons.

(1/2 stick) butter


thyme sprigs, plus 1 tbsp. chopped leaves


large shallot, 1 finely chopped, 1 sliced ​​into rings


Finely chopped garlic cloves

1/4 c.

cognac or brandy

5 c.

Low sodium beef broth

1 1/2 lbs.

Small potatoes, cut into quarters

2 tbsp.

Worcestershire sauce

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  1. Grind the peppers on the coarse setting of a pepper mill (you can also use a mortar and pestle, or wrap the peppers in cheesecloth and crush with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet). Season the steaks on both sides with a pinch of salt and ground pepper, and press the pepper onto the meat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp. oil until shimmering. Cook the steaks, pressing gently to make sure no peppers are missing, until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the steaks and add the sticks of butter and thyme. Continue cooking, buttering steaks, until tops are crusty and well browned, and a quick-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part at 135 degrees, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest until ready to use. Drain the remaining fat in the skillet and reserve.
  3. Wipe off any large pieces of pepper from the pan. Return the reserved fat to the skillet, then cook the chopped shallots over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and minced thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and beat until homogeneous. Cook, whisking constantly, until flour turns slightly darker, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cognac until smooth, then slowly whisk into the broth. Add the potatoes and leave it on a low heat. Cook until potatoes are tender and soup is thick, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low while stirring with cream and Worcestershire. Cook, stirring, until completely heated through and blended, an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook shallot slices and remaining 1/2 cup oil, stirring occasionally, until oil begins to boil around shallots, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until shallots are golden, another 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks to a plate lined with paper towels; Season with a little salt. Let it cool a little.
  6. Divide the soup among the plates. Cut the steak into cubes, then place the steaks and fried shallots on top of the plates.

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Pepper Steak Soup

Photo: Lucy Schaefer. Food curator: Spencer Richards

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