The Secret Ingredient (Pink Peppercorn): Lamb au Pink Peppercorn Poivre Recipe

Kerry Saretsky

Previously on The Secret Ingredient

Pink Peppercorn and Parmesan Gougères »

Pink Peppercorn Tuna Tartare »

Some people are talented spoofers. They spoof old books, they spoof old movies, they spoof old politicians. I'm not that funny. I spoof old recipes.

This is a monochrome take on the French classic steak au poivre, a filet crusted in smashed angry black pepper, seared, and served with a sauce of Cognac, and shallots, and cream. Delicious. But strident. This version is more delicate. The lamb is cooked pink as the peppercorns themselves, and the heat of the pink peppercorn, as well as the texture, is more delicate, collapsing into the cream and Cognac like a woman collapsing in a tub after a long day at the office.

There is a tenderness to the dish—both the meat and the spice. And the hue is inimitable. La vie en rose!

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins

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  • 3/4 pound lamb loin, cut into 2 steaks
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, coarsely ground and divided
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cold


  1. Crust the lamb with salt and half the pink peppercorns.

  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil, and then sear the lamb, cooking only about 4 to 5 minutes per side, for medium rare to medium.

  3. Remove the lamb to a plate to rest. Pour off any extra fat from the pan.

  4. Take the pan off the heat, and add the Cognac (stand back!).

  5. Return to the heat, scrape up the brown bits of meat, and simmer to reduce by half.

  6. Add the cream and the rest of the ground pink peppercorns. Add any juices that meat has released on the plate, and simmer to thicken. At the last second, add the cold butter, swirling the pan to gloss the sauce.

  7. Cut thick slices of the lamb loin, and serve the sauce around it.