Valentine’s Day Menu: Steak au Poivre with Herb Butter

steaks with butter

Now, here we’ve come to the main Valentine’s Day attraction. To me, steaks are the ultimate in luxurious meals- and the funny thing is that they probably require the least amount of preparation of any other meat in terms of flavor. With chicken or pork, I always feel compelled to make some kind of interesting sauce or marinade to impart more flavor to the meal. But with steak, you can just let the meat do the talking.

herb butter

One of my favorite parts about going to steakhouses is when the steaks come out searing hot, with a still-sizzling dab of butter up top. I decided to make a home-prepared herb butter a la Alex Guarnaschelli, with a few additions and substitutions of my own. I also love steaks with a pepper crust, so I decided to coat the steaks in crushed peppercorns.

pepper coating

Honestly, I really wish I had chosen a better cut of meat for this than top sirloin, which I had ordered sight unseen from FreshDirect. The marbling did add a lot of flavor, but made for some very chewy steaks. Next time I would go for a New York strip or tenderloin. But with that said, I would definitely make this again!

Steaks au Poivre with Herb Butter

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 8 additional tablespoons, softened
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns, ground
  • 4 good-quality steaks (strip steaks or tenderloins)

fresh thyme

fresh rosemary


1. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, then add the minced onions. Season with salt, to taste, and cook until they are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

onions and butter

2. Transfer the onions  to a medium bowl. Add the peppercorns, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk to blend so all of the flavors start to meld together. Use a fork to blend in the other 8 tablespoons of softened butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the thyme and rosemary.

herb butter

3. Roll the butter into a cylinder (like cookie dough) in plastic wrap or parchment pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.

5. Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.

seared steak

6. In a medium skillet over medium heat, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.

broiling the butter

7. Top the steak with a single layer of the butter slices, put it under the broiler until the butter softens, about 30 to 45 seconds. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

a family dinner

I made these steaks for four of my favorite Valentines, after crab cake appetizers. I served the steaks alongside a tri-color pepper salad and homemade potato chips. Yum!

Coming up next: Valentine’s Day dessert!

What’s your favorite meal for Valentines Day?

Happy Eating 🙂


  1. Canto says

    Unfortunately, I was unable to organize my Valentine’s Day situation in time to make the crab cakes and the steaks, but fear not, Canto makes crab cakes tonight and steaks on friday. Stay tuned… same nom-time, same nom-channel.,,


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