Portobello ‘Steak’ Au Poivre

Portobello ‘Steak’ Au Poivre

Steak au poivre, a classic French dish of peppercorn-crusted steak with cream sauce, seems like it was meant to be made with mushrooms. Not only do mushrooms sear well, but they’re also a friend to the dish’s main flavorings of heavy cream, heady spices and warming liquor. For the best results, crisp the mushrooms first in a hot pan, baste them with garlic butter until tender, then let them simmer in the cream sauce so they soak up that richness. Eat with roasted, mashed or fried potatoes, a salad of watercress or another spicy green, and red wine, of course. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Brush the mushrooms all over with olive oil. Sprinkle the pepper evenly over the gill sides (about ½ teaspoon per mushroom). Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high, then add the mushrooms gill side up and sear until the underside is browned and the gill side looks wet, 3 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook until golden and the pepper is fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Reduce heat to medium-low. Flip the mushrooms so they’re gill side up, then add the butter and garlic, and season with salt. While stirring the garlic to keep it from scorching, tilt the skillet to spoon up the melting butter and baste the mushrooms until tender, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate, leaving the butter in the skillet.
  3. Step 3

    Add the shallot and stir until softened, 2 to 4 minutes, adding a little more butter if the pan is dry. Stand back, and carefully add the Cognac. (It might flame.) Stir until the Cognac has nearly evaporated. Add the heavy cream and mustard, season with salt, and stir to combine. Return the mushrooms to the pan gill side down, and cook until the cream is thickened and the color of a latte, 2 to 4 minutes. Eat the mushrooms with a drizzle of the sauce.