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Venison Steak au Poivre

Justin Townsend calls this recipe "The Best Venison Steak au Poivre." The original recipe was posted on Harvesting Nature.

Steak au poivre is a classic French dish that dates back to the mid-1800s. The steak is typically pan-fried and served with a pan sauce made from crushed black peppercorns with cream, butter, and cognac, and it can also include garlic, shallots, and other herbs and spices. The combination of the steak and creamy sauce is a delicious and classic way to enjoy a steak.

This recipe is an excellent meal for a weeknight dinner because it is easy to prepare, has a sophisticated flavor, and is incredibly satisfying. Instead of brandy or cognac in the sauce, I used bourbon because, well, I like bourbon. You can either serve the sauce atop the steaks or put the steaks back into the sauce in the pan for reheating.

I also utilized a method called flambe. Flambe is a cooking method that involves the flaming of food. I like to use this method to bring out more of the natural flavors of the food, especially the black pepper in this case. In order to flambe a dish, you cook the food in a pan until the desired temperature, then add alcohol, and then ignite the alcohol. Then, allow the flames to burn off, which will create a caramelized layer on the food and adds a delicious smoky flavor. Although flambe can be intimidating, it is actually quite easy to master with practice. Just make sure your cooking space is clear of other flammables and ensure safe practices when attempting this method. Maybe keep a fire extinguisher nearby…

Serving Size: 2
Time to make: 30 minutes


  • Venison steaks  ·  2 
  • Butter  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • Olive oil  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • Smoked sea salt  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • Shot of bourbon  ·  1 
  • Butter  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Bourbon  ·  1/2 cup 
  • Shallots, finely chopped  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • Garlic, thinly sliced  ·  2 cloves 
  • Worcestershire sauce  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Heavy cream  ·  1 cup 
  • Smoked paprika  ·  1/2 teaspoon 
  • Sprig fresh thyme  ·  1 


1.) Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2.) Season the venison steaks with smoked salt and black pepper, then place them in the skillet.
3.) Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked to your desired degree of doneness.
4.) Add 1 shot of bourbon to the skillet and carefully ignite. Allow the flame to cook off.
5.) Remove the steaks from the skillet and keep them warm.
6.) Add one tablespoon of butter to the same skillet
7.) Add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8.) Add the remaining1/2 cup bourbon and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer.
9.) Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until the liquid has reduced by half.
10.) Add the cream, smoked paprika, and thyme to the skillet, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.
11.) Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Remove thyme sprig and discard.
12.) Serve the sauce over the steak. Enjoy!

Check out our favorite sources for venison here.

Paired Wines

2022 Moonbright Zinfandel

2022 Moonbright Zinfandel

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