May 1, 2024

Steak Au Poivre Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
This pan seared steak is served sliced on toasted ciabatta bread with a zesty and rich au poivre sauce, pickled red onions and a simply dressed arugula salad. 
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In this steak sandwich variation of the classic French dish steak au poivre, a creamy peppercorn pan sauce makes for a flavorful addition to perfectly contrast the light arugula salad and pickled onions. The sauce is made using the flavorful drippings left in the pan after searing the steak. Beef broth, a touch of cognac or brandy, and cream are added to the pan and simmered to create a rich and savory sauce. This sauce is then generously ladled over the sliced steak, making the sandwich truly exceptional. 

Steak au Poivre Sandwich

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Steak – The ribeye cut comes from the primal section of rib on the cow. I love cooking this cut of steak because it is extremely marbled, giving it a rich flavor and tender texture. 
  • Peppercorns – In addition to generously seasoning the steaks with finely and freshly ground black pepper, cracked peppercorns are used to flavor the pan sauce. To crack the peppercorns you can use a pepper mill set to the coarsest setting to create larger cracked pieces of peppercorn. Or wrap the peppercorns in a clean dish towel and then crush them under a heavy-bottomed skillet or use a mortar and pestle. It’s important to crack them fresh for the best flavor. 
  • Bread – Ciabatta is a porous, rustic white bread from Italy. With a chewy crust and an airy texture, this bread is perfect for a steak sandwich.The toasted nooks and crannies perfectly hold the excess pan sauce.  
  • Pickled Onions – Red onions pickled in a vinegar mixture are tangy and add a more subtle onion flavor than using raw onions. Make your own using my simple recipe here
  • Arugula – The peppery arugula adds a nice fresh contrast, balancing the steak and rich sauce. 

How to Make a Steak Au Poivre Sandwich

Step 1: Season steaks. 

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season the steak with salt and ground pepper all over. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through.

Step 2: Sear steaks.

Add the steak and cook until the bottom develops a golden-brown crust, about 3 minutes. Flip the steaks, and add the butter to the pan. Continue to cook, basting the steak with the melted butter until the steak is medium rare, about an additional 3 minutes. If using an instant-read thermometer, when you insert it into the thickest part of each steak, it should register 120°F (49ªC).

Step 3: Let the steak rest. 

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing the meat. 

Step 4: Sauté shallots. 

Return to medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until the shallot is tender and opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the peppercorns, swirling until fragrant, about an additional minute.

Step 5: Make the au poivre sauce. 

Add the cognac and continue to cook over medium heat, allowing the alcohol to burn off for about a minute, then add the beef stock. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half, about an additional 4 minutes. Whisk in the cream and continue to cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about an additional 2 minutes.

Step 6: Mix arugula salad. 

In a medium mixing bowl toss the arugula in the olive oil and red wine vinegar. 

Step 7: Assemble sandwich and serve. 

Divide the sliced steaks between the bottom halves of ciabatta bread. Top with spoonfuls of the au poivre pan sauce and pile the arugula salad over the top. Garnish with pickled onions then close the sandwiches. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

Swaps and substitutions 
  • The ribeye steak can easily be swapped for another favorite tender cut of meat like NY strip steak. 
  • Ciabatta rolls can be used in place of the 4” pieces of a ciabatta loaf. 

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this steak au poivre sandwich give these a try:

Steak au Poivre Sandwich

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless ribeye steaks, cut 1” thick (about 1½ pounds)
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns or mixed peppercorns
  • ¼ cup cognac, brandy or sherry
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups wild arugula
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4” portions and halved lengthwise, toasted
  • ¼ cup pickled red onions

Instructions:

  • Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season the steak with salt and ground pepper all over. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through.
  • Add the steak and cook until the bottom develops a golden-brown crust, about 3 minutes. Flip the steaks, and add the butter to the pan. Continue to cook, basting the steak with the melted butter until the steak is medium rare, about an additional 3 minutes. If using an instant-read thermometer, when you insert it into the thickest part of each steak, it should register 120°F (49ªC).
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing the meat.
  • Return to medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until the shallot is tender and opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the peppercorns, swirling until fragrant, about an additional minute.
  • Add the cognac and continue to cook over medium heat, allowing the alcohol to burn off for about a minute, then add the beef stock. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half, about an additional 4 minutes. Whisk in the cream and continue to cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about an additional 2 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl toss the arugula in the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Divide the sliced steaks between the bottom halves of ciabatta bread. Top with spoonfuls of the au poivre pan sauce and pile the arugula salad over the top. Garnish with pickled onions then close the sandwiches. Cut in half and serve immediately.

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