Steak au Poivre with Pommes Frites

3:10 pm on 2 May 2014

Steaks tend to be thinly cut in France, though tender, and they’re generally nicely seasoned. I’ve used scotch fillet steaks, and I prefer them more thickly cut, but sirloin would also do just as well. You want a frying pan in which the steaks will fit snugly but won’t touch. Serves 4


  • 1.5kg floury potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for steak
  • flaky sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 thickly cut scotch fillet steaks
  • 30g butter, softened
  • salt


Make slim chips – pommes frites – with potatoes, olive oil and flaky sea salt.

For the steaks, crush peppercorns with the end of a sturdy bottle between paper towels (don’t use a rolling pin or you will dent it). Press crushed peppercorns onto steaks. Put steaks on a plate and drizzle well with oil. Heat a smallish heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat and drop in steaks. Cook for 2–3 minutes, then smear tops of steaks with a little of the butter and turn them over. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until done to your liking, then dish onto a warmed plate. Season steaks with salt.

Dish steaks onto warm plates and, if liked, put a knob of butter on top of each. Serve immediately with chips and a salad of your choice.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Find a Recipe

or browse by title

What's in Season - July




  • Bay leaves
  • Majoram
  • Winter savoury
  • Thyme
  • Horseradish
  • Chicory