Definitely a celebratory entree, this Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak from Dorie Greenspan is both simple to make and elegant.

Dorie’s time in Paris inspired this Skillet Filet Mignon that’s drizzled with a rich Cognac cream sauce. It’s her version of a favorite beef dish enjoyed at the charming Bistrot Paul Bert in the 6th arrondissement.


Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak sliced and drizzle with pan sauce with a green salad on a white plate

Why You Must Make

  • It’s a quick, delicious, restaurant-worthy entree!
  • This beef pepper steak is ideal for company or special occasions.
  • It only takes about 10 minutes of cooking time and minimal ingredients

I was delighted when this exquisite Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak recipe made the French Fridays with Dorie April rotation. April brings a lot of celebrations at our house:  Bill and Nick’s birthdays, our wedding anniversary (25 years on the 5th!), and often Easter. With these special dates comes a need for winning meals. I served these tender beef filets with sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, and new potatoes, this was a feast worthy of all of our special occasions. Dorie did not disappoint.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples –  Vegetable Oil, Kosher salt, Butter
  • Filet Mignons – 1 ½- inches thick, at room temperature
  • Black Peppercorns – I keep a stock of Penzey’s Tellicherry Indian Black Peppercorns
  • Cognac – A fine brandy that’s double distilled in Western France.
  • Heavy Cream – 36% Butterfat

Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak served on a white plate drizzled with pan sauce

Serving Suggestions

A senior member of the family, who will remain nameless, preferred ketchup with his pan-seared filet mignon; but did enjoy the cognac sauce as well. This quick, delicious entree will return to our dinner menu frequently. It received thumbs up from the four carnivores in the family. If you know my picky family, this is a ringing endorsement!

I wish I could say the same about the beets and mushrooms, but you can’t win them all! You can find this pepper steak recipe in Around My French Table or in the Houston Chronicle.

Mushroom Topped Pepper Steak fanned out on a white plate.

Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4

Beef fliets coated with cracked black peppercorns and pan seared, then served with a Cognac cream sauce. Easy and elegant!


  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, coarsely cracked or ground
  • 4 filet mignons, 1½ inches thick, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon of butter
  • ¼ cup Cognac
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, to tase


  1. Sprinkle your filets with kosher salt, then sprinkle with peppercorns, pressing them into the meat with the palm of your hand.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, then add the oil and butter.
  3. Cook the steaks 2-3 minutes per side for rare steaks. Remove from pan and let rest covered with foil.
  4. Pour off any excess fat in the pan, and let the pan cool.
  5. Add the Cognac to the pan and cook over medium heat until it's almost all evaporated, scraping up any bits left from cooking the steaks (they're full of flavor!).
  6. When the Cognac is reduced, add the cream, and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste and add a touch of salt.
  7. Spoon the sauce over the filets to serve.


I use my Krups coffee grinder to grind peppercorns.

Bring the steaks out of the refrigerator for up to an hour before grilling to get the chill off. This will allow for more even grilling.

Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.


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Pepper Steak on a white plate with mushrooms, beets and broccoli


Pepper steak sliced and fanned out on a white plate and drizzled with sauce