Creamy with tender pops of plump peppercorns, our best peppercorn sauce recipe is a must-have for drizzling over steaks, grilled chicken and seafood.
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Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, for 3 mins or until shallot softens and is lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
Increase heat to high. Carefully add the brandy, if using, and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until the brandy reduces by half.
Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring, for 3-4 mins or until liquid reduces by half. Add the cream and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until the sauce boils and thickens. Season.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: If you’re not going to use the remaining cream before its expiry date, it’s fine to freeze. The cream can be frozen in its carton and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge and give the carton a good shake before adding to your dishes.
Use it up: Because the green peppercorns are preserved in the jar, they last for a good couple of years. Store the opened jar in the fridge. They can also be added to Thai dishes like jungle curry or stir-fries.
Use it up: Leftover beef stock can be added to stews and braises.
Diane, mushroom or green peppercorn sauce? It’s always the tricky question when dining out at the local pub or steakhouse. While they all have their charms, there’s something about pepper’s affinity with steak that makes it a perfect match. The sauce originated in France, where the brandy would have been dramatically flambéed, but our easy peppercorn sauce provides the same traditional flavour with just 15 minutes of cooking. Peppery, creamy, with a generous glug of brandy (if you’re using it), and just a touch of Worcestershire, whether you’re making peppercorn sauce for steak, chicken or even grilled fish, this sauce is robust yet delicate enough to be paired with them all.
The hero of our green peppercorn sauce recipe is, of course, the peppercorns. Bought either canned or bottled in brine, green peppercorns are actually unripe black peppercorns, so their flavour is milder and texture is softer, as they’ve been sitting in the salty brine. If you’re using brandy, there’s no need to use the top-shelf stuff in this recipe; just make sure you simmer it for a good few minutes to allow the strong alcohol taste to burn off. Add a low-salt beef stock (homemade if possible), simmer to reduce and then add the cream. We use thickened cream, as it contains natural thickening agents that help create an ideal pourable consistency and prevent the sauce from splitting.
If you’re serving your creamy green peppercorn sauce with pan-fried chicken or steak, it’s best to cook it all in the same pan. Cook your meat and set it aside, covered with foil, to rest. Have your shallot and garlic chopped and ready to go into the pan. Sauté in the oil until just softened. After adding the brandy (if using), cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape any bits of flavour left from the chicken or beef. Drain and rinse your peppercorns to get rid of the briny flavour, and add to the pan and simmer with the cream until warmed through. Drizzle your sauce immediately over your grilled meat. Serve with golden French fries and a crisp green salad for the full French bistro experience.
This recipe for green peppercorn sauce is just one of the fabulous sauces the French have given the world. It’s good to also have a recipe for steak Diane up your sleeve and this herby brandy cream sauce is a great all-rounder. For a twist on green peppercorn sauce, try a creamy mushroom sauce. You can also whip up a classic Béarnaise sauce to serve with steak or a hollandaise sauce to drizzle over poached eggs or asparagus.