French Fridays with Dorie: Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak

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Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak :I got one thing to say; Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, you ain’t got nothin’ on me, nor on my steak! Winking smile

Okay, so, I wouldn’t go that far, but believe you me when I tell you that this beef, and this kitchen, totally rocked out the same smell that welcomes you at Ruth’s Chris! And the taste of this Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak was just a wonderful bite, after bite, of deliciousness. I wish I had at least one more piece of meat for moi!

pepper steak

During that half hour that I was in my kitchen trying to prepare this ammmmmazing filet mignon, I set off the smoke alarm a total of six times! And I didn’t even flame the sauce!! The alarm is just very sensitive… that’s all.

Truth be told, my family will not eat meat that has even a speck of red – I had to cook these a lot longer than the ‘2 to 3 minutes on each side’ that Dorie suggested. I mean a lot longer. The cast iron pan was black when I was done with the meat. I left one piece on the side for myself so that I could cook it according to Dorie’s instructions.

The cognac sauce, in which I have prepared before, is really really good! As I stated already, I did not flame the sauce because one, I have never flamed it before, and I love it, and two, baby girl was with me in the kitchen. I gave her a heart attack all those six times that the alarm went off – I didn’t want to give her another reason to scream again for another ten minutes.

pepper steak

If you love this recipe, hop over to Amazon, get yourself a copy of this wonderful cookbook, and then join us at French Fridays with Dorie!

Oh, and why am I posting this only a few minutes before Saturday? Because babies don’t come with instructions. She (and I) has hardly slept this entire week… Today I found out why; molars. Poor baby. But she’s fine now! Smile


23 23 23
WW Freestyle: 24
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4 Serves
Calories: 652


  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 pieces filet mignon, 1 to 1½ inches thick, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Cognac, or other brandy (plus a splash more if desired)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt


  • The peppercorns need to be coarsely cracked, a job that's done quickly and easily with a mortar and pestle. Lacking that, put the peppercorns in a kitchen towel so they don't go flying about, and give them a couple of bashes with the bottom of a heavy skillet or the heel or back of a knife. Sprinkle some peppercorns on both sides of each steak, and use the palm of your hand to press them into the meat.
  • Put a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat - I use a cast-iron pan - and add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, slip in the steaks and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes for rare steaks, or a minute or so longer if you like your beef more well-done. Flip them over and give them another 2 to 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a warm plate and cover them loosely with a foil tent.
  • Pour off all of the fat in the pan, but leave any bits of steak that have stuck to the bottom; let the pan cool for a minute or so. Now you've got a decision to make: to flame the Cognac or to just let it boil down. If you decide to flame it, pour it into the pan, stand back, and set a match to the Cognac. When the flames have subsided, stir to scrape up whatever bits of meat are in the pan. If you just want to boil the Cognac, put the pan over medium heat, pour in the Cognac, and let cook until it's almost evaporated; scrape up whatever bits of steak have stuck to the pan.
  • When you've reduced the Cognac, lower the heat and add the cream. Swirl the pan and let the cream bubble gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Salt with care. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving (1 steak)
Calories 652 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Fat 53g82%
Saturated Fat 23g115%
Cholesterol 163mg54%
Sodium 95mg4%
Potassium 572mg16%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 495IU10%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keywords: bourbon steak recipe, filet mignon, cognac

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34 Responses
  1. Magic of Spice

    Oh molars are a tough one…hope you both get some rest. You did a beautiful job with this and I love cognac sauces, must have been wonderfully delicious!

  2. Mina @ Angelloves Cooking

    Mmmm – awesome!!! No one from my family would ever eat any meat that has been cooked only for 2-3 minutes either…

  3. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Sorry about the teething, that always a rough time.

    This dish looks superb! We like our meat RED, so that makes it even fast to pull together.

  4. Maja

    Mmmm, looks delicious ! I love to eat steak in restaurants, but when I cook it at home it never comes out right ! Need to try this recipe !

  5. Firefly

    This looks so delicious 🙂 I love the way it looks and I’m sure it tastes amazingly!

    Hope you and kiddo are getting more sleep. Poor baby molars are no fun!!! ((Hugs))

  6. Celia

    All this filet mignon popping up for FFwD is making me crave steak SO hard. I personally take mine rare (to the point of still-mooing); looks like you got yours perfectly pink! Yumm…

  7. Hester aka The Chef Doc

    Oh Kate! This looks wonderful! I can just smell the aromas already! Your poor baby 🙁 I hope she’s feeling better by now!

  8. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Wow that is one great looking plate of meat. Your sauce is so dark though – did you not add cream?

    1. Kate@Diethood

      I added half the cream than it was suggested, and I cooked the steaks a whole lot longer (my family won’t eat meat that’s not well done) which resulted in a whole lot of black pieces on the bottom of the pan. In turn those pieces made my sauce darker. But the sauce was still amazing…I’ve done it this way before, too, so I’m used to the dark sauce. 🙂

  9. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen

    Despite the alarm going off six times, the end result of your steak looks so amazing! And your cognac sauce is a bit darker, is it because you cooked the meat a lot longer than Dorie’s? I feel for you and your baby but hopefully the worst of the teething time is over.

  10. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Six times? Wow. I need to pull out my book and look at that recipe. I’m sorry about the molars too. I remember those days. Thank goodness they’re over! Beautiful steak.

  11. Chef Dennis

    what a gorgeous plate!! you did an outstanding job with this dish Kate, and I can just imagine how delicious it was!
    I hope you managed to get some sleep, that can really take its toll after awhile, and we need you blogging my friend!

  12. kitchenarian

    I have one of those sensitive smoke alarms near my kitchen. It can be a real pain some days. I love your post about this recipe. Your steak looks amazing. I haven’t made it yet. Hopefully I will get around to it soon.

  13. Sandra

    The joys of Motherhood! This steak looks amazing and my husband would love it cooked as Dorie suggested. I like mine closer to burnt! You’ve done a great job, now rest.

  14. Parsley Sage

    Drooooooooooooooooool. This looks so hot. Perfectly cooked! So glad you made one ‘as per instructions’ for yourself that that just looks incredible. Sorry to hear about your little bit’s teething issue 🙁 Ice cream?

  15. Cher

    Oh, popping molars are tough. Good luck!
    Your meal is great & you have one up on Ruth’s Chris – you don’t have to tip grumpy waitstaff…

  16. amanda @ fake ginger

    I would definitely say Dorie’s steak was better than anything I’ve had at Ruth’s Chris! Yours looks delicious!

  17. Marmande in the Kitchen

    That cognac sauce looks amazing! I also cook for some well-done-only meat eaters, so I am always leaving a piece on the side to cook less as well. Hope you get a chance to catch up on your sleep!

  18. Kristy

    This post cracked me up! It totally sounds like me in the kitchen…setting off smoke alarms, screaming children! The end result sounds totally worth it though – especially the cognac sauce! Yum!

  19. Claudia

    I don’t flame sauces – I’ve been in one kitchen fire and that was enough for a lifetime! I do agree, this is a grand dish and the cognac sauce is worthy of being its own side dish.

  20. Nana

    How you could turn out a dish that looks that amazing with a baby
    having teething problems is beyond me. I give you a lot of credit for
    even trying. I did not do the recipe this week, but Tricia cooked
    for her family and they all raved about the steak. Your pictures
    are great, even those potatoes look delicious.

  21. Jill Colonna

    Oh, Kate. I do hope you can catch up with your sleep this weekend. Teething is horrible for everyone! Good for you to even to a post, don’t know how you do it. Love the look of the cognac sauce: so dark and intense. I can sympathise with well done steaks. My parents won’t touch steaks with any pink in them, either. So I do a typically French thing now: I just refuse to cook them steaks. Isn’t that a horrible daughter? 🙂

  22. Adriana

    Aw, I feel bad for your baby between teething and the scary fire alarm! My cat was just as confused with the cloud of smoke that came out from the kitchen. I couldn’t light up mine anyways because most of the cognac evaporated almost upon contact with the pan.

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