Peppered Fillet of Beef with Cognac

Evoke fine French brasserie fare with this crushed peppercorns, butter and brandy sauce
Peppered Fillet of Beef with Cognac
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus resting time
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 x 1-1.5 kg centre cut fillet of beef
  • 5 tsp cracked peppercorns, (peppercorns in mortar)
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 50-75 g butter
  • 50 ml cognac


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ gas 3-4. Take the fillet, put it on a platter and press the pepper onto outside of the meat using the heel of your hand to ensure it is well attached. Season with salt.

2. Heat the clarified butter in a large ovenproof frying pan and cook the meat, rotating it in the pan until it is crusted and brown. Tip out the clarified butter from the pan and slip in half of the unclarified butter. Turn down the heat to a medium temperature and let the butter foam and cook to a gentle hazelnut colour.

3. Baste the meat with the butter regularly. If the butter appears in danger of turning too dark then lower the heat. Continue this process for 3-4 minutes, transfer to the preheated oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4. Remove the beef from the oven and add the cognac. It will splutter a little and after 30 seconds the alcohol will have evaporated. Take the fillet out of the pan and put it on a dish to rest in the oven for 10 minutes.

5. Slice the beef thickly and arrange on 4 plates, spoon over the buttery juices and serve with garlic and rosemary roast potatoes.

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