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Peppercorn Sauce

Peppercorn Steak sauce will help you take your steak to the next level. Serve this creamy sauce over your steak for a meal to rival the best steak house!

This is one of those meals for a special occasion or even “date night” as I like to call it. It is a recreation of a dish that I had when I was in Italy several years ago.

Spooning peppercorn sauce on steak.

Before we went to Italy everyone would say “Oh imagine all of the yummy pasta and pizza you are going to eat. But do you think you’ll get sick of it after two weeks?” Well the truth is, its not all pizza and pasta in Italy. Sure the pasta and pizza that we had were absolutely divine, but there were also many other palate pleasing options. In Siena for instance, beef reigned supreme and we had ourselves plenty of perfectly cooked steaks. Nothing was over done, very simple seasonings and a simple sauce. Just how I like it.

What ingredients do you need?

Overhead photo of ingredients on white surface.

And that is where I got the idea for this easy peppercorn sauce. Unlike other peppercorn sauces out there, this one is made without brandy or any other alcohol. Instead, you just need a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

OLIVE OIL: Regular or extra virgin will work just fine.

SHALLOTS: A milder, more delicate tasting onion. You don’t want the onion to over-power this sauce.

WHOLE PEPPERCORNS: You can use whole black peppercorns or a peppercorn blend. Stay away from Szechuan peppercorns, they won’t work in this recipe.

BEEF BROTH: This is what I use instead of alcohol in this peppercorn sauce. It gives a depth of flavor to the sauce.

HEAVY CREAM: Don’t skimp on this! For the sauce to have the decadence you want, you’ll want to use heavy cream. Don’t use half and half or milk.

Step by Step Photos and Instructions:

STEP #1: Crack the peppercorns. You can use a mortar and pestle to do this or if you don’t have one, simply place the peppercorns in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crack them.

Black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.

STEP #2: Sauté shallots in olive oil just until softened. About 1 minute. Add in peppercorns. Cook an additional minute.

Shallots and peppercorns in a skillet.

STEP #3: Whisk in beef broth being sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom. Reduce heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream. Allow to simmer just until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Pouring cream into a skillet.

DES’ TIPS: The brown bits are called “fond” and it carries a ton of flavor. As the sauce cools it will thicken, if it gets too thick add a little more beef broth. 

Traditionally, Peppercorn Sauce is served over Filet Mignon but really, any kind of steak will be fab with this sauce! Just pick your favorite, you can’t go wrong. You could even serve this over chicken!

Peppercorn sauce on a sliced steak.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Yes! As written this makes enough sauce to cover 2 steaks but this recipe can easily be doubled.

Looking for other steakhouse favorites? You’ve got to try these recipes!

Homemade Horseradish Sauce

Flat Iron Steak Recipe

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Note: This post was originally published in 2009. It was updated with new photos and nutrition information in 2020.

Peppercorn Sauce Recipe

Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 7 reviews


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon beef broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream



Use a mortar and pestle to crack the peppercorns. If you don't have one you can place the peppercorns in a plastic bag then pound with the side of a meat mallet or bottom of a frying pan. You don't want them too small, just cracked.


olive oil and shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add cracked peppercorns, cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup beef broth. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in heavy cream. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. If it gets too thick add remaining tablespoon of beef broth.


Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 110 , Total Fat: 9.9g , Saturated Fat: 5g , Cholesterol: 27mg , Sodium: 206mg , Carbohydrates: 4.4g , Fiber: 0g , Sugar: 0g , Protein: 1.6g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    December 22, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Can you use canola oil? I don’t have olive oil.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      That will work! It is neutral enough :)

  • Reply
    Richard Wright
    October 30, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Can I make this ahead of time? How best to hold?

    • Reply
      October 30, 2020 at 11:37 am

      Hi Richard! I have never made it ahead of time, my only concern is that it does tend to get thicker the longer that it sits. But I think it might still work! You may need to add a little more beef broth. depending on the thickness. Because of the cream, it would be best stored in the refrigerated and reheated.

  • Reply
    James A
    November 17, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you so very much for this recipe! I have been looking for a gluten free recipe. I didn’t want to just remove cognac from another recipe as I was afraid it would knock the ratios of the other ingredients off balance.

    Two weeks ago I used this recipe and my wife was able to have a wonderful peppercorn sauce for the first time in years after being diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

    I’m making it again tonight! This is restaurant quality sauce right here.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      James- That is SO wonderful to hear!! I am glad my recipe allowed your wife to enjoy a peppercorn sauce again :)

  • Reply
    May 12, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Sauce was excellent!

    • Reply
      May 12, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      So great to hear! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Anais Minks
    March 7, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    I saw a lot of other recipes that used brandy or cognac but I decided on this one because I didn’t have that on hand and it seemed much simpler. Now that I’ve made it, I’m going to remake it over and over again and not change a thing. It was so delicious, just absolutely scrumptious. I already make amazing, tender and juicy steaks but this sauce made my steak the best one I’ve ever had. I did add some mushrooms to the sauce for my husband but I left them off of my steak. He also thought it was amazing. Thanks for this simple but delicious recipe.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Excellent recipe that is better with beef bone broth!

    • Reply
      August 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you Dan! I will have to try it with beef bone broth next time!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Surprisingly delicious. Ingredients on hand for an outstanding dish requiring little planning. Definitely a company dinner as well if we don’t wear it out enjoying it frequently. Make enough to top potatoes or whatever else you are serving.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2018 at 10:43 am

      I’m so happy to hear that Jean! :)

  • Reply
    May 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Just tried it out, delicious! Thank you for posting this!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

    This sounds wonderful, and close to a recipe that we make, too. Ours also includes cognac in the sauce. I posted it on our blog at if anyone’s interested.

  • Reply
    Alfredo Maldonado Leon
    February 4, 2013 at 1:43 am


  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Bryan, you add the cream in step three after you add the beef broth. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    what about the 1/3 cup of cream? It is not referrenced.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    This looks delicious!!!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2009 at 12:46 am

    I just need clarification in regards to the beef it 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon? Thanks! :)

    • Reply
      October 20, 2009 at 7:53 am

      Oops! Yes it’s 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon. I originally used 1/2 cup but then the sauce got a little thick on me while I was platting the rest of dinner so I thinned it out a bit with an extra tablespoon of beef broth.


    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.