Steak sandwich with au poivre sauce

This sandwich has it going on! Grilled steak, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and an au poivre sauce that brings the whole thing together. Sometimes you need to treat yourself and when my appetite gets big, this is the one I’m leaning on. Literally, since this sandwich is a behemoth.

This one pulls out all the stops and isn’t very difficult to whip up. Let me show you how to make this steak sandwich with au poivre sauce!

What is au poivre sauce?

Au poivre sauce is a classic French sauce that is usually made by combining heavy cream, beef broth, and coarsely ground black pepper. The name “au poivre” means “with pepper” in French, and the sauce is known for its strong, peppery flavor.

The au poivre sauce is what dreams are made of!

Some variations of the sauce may also include additional ingredients like shallots, garlic, or Dijon mustard. My take uses shallots, garlic, bourbon, heavy cream, and black pepper. Since I’m grilling my steak and not pan searing, I save some of the juices after the steak rests and add it to the sauce instead of using beef broth.

What’s in the sandwich

This sandwich has 6 main components to it:

  • Bread: I went with ciabatta bread because it is nice and thick and will hold up to all the ingredients inside it.
  • Arugula: This lettuce is fresh and peppery which goes well with most sandwiches.
  • Steak: I used a NY Strip but filet mignon or ribeye is a great option.
  • Caramelized red onions: Deep in flavor and savory. You could also use pickled red onions.
  • Sautéed mushrooms: Earthy and delicious. It pairs well with the red onions.
  • Au Poivre sauce: The star of the show, this sauce is creamy, peppery and the bourbon rounds it out leaving you wanting more after every bite.

Can I substitute the alcohol?

If you prefer not to use alcohol in your au poivre sauce, you can substitute bourbon with apple juice or grape juice as they have a sweet and tangy taste. Alternatively, you can also use bourbon-flavored extract, which will give a similar flavor profile without the alcohol content.

When substituting bourbon, keep in mind that the flavor profile may be slightly different, so it’s a good idea to experiment with small amounts first to ensure that the substitution works well in your recipe.

Caramelizing red onions

Slice half a red onion as thin as you can with a sharp knife. A mandolin would work well but just watch your fingers!

Then sauté the onions on medium low heat with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 30-40 minutes. You want to break down the onions getting them nice and tender without burning them. Taking it nice and slow is the best way to do it. About half way through the process add red wine and some Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook down until very tender.

Sautéing the mushrooms

Sautéing the mushrooms is very easy. I like to use pre sliced mushrooms to save a little time and toss them into a pan with a little olive oil on medium heat. After about 5 minutes splash a little soy sauce and add a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Thats all they need!

Cooking the NY Strip steak

To cook the NY Strip I use a technique called the reverse sear method. Basically it’s where you cook the steak on low heat and then sear with high heat to finish. Doing it this way ensures that you don’t burn your steak, especially if they are thick like the one I used. This method also gives you a nice edge to edge doneness.

After the steak is about 15 degrees from your target temperature, remove it from the grill and turn it up to at least 500°F to get a nice sear. One your grill is up to temp, place the steak back on and sear for a 1-2 minutes on each side until you get it to your perfect internal temperature.

For me I usually eat my steaks medium rare so I pull them off around 130°F. Make sure to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it.

How to make au poivre sauce

Mince 1 shallot and a clove of garlic and cook them over medium heat with a little olive oil. After 2 minutes or so, it should be nice and fragrant. Turn the heat down a little and add bourbon. You can also use cognac or brandy as well.

Scrap the pan making sure you get any bits of garlic or shallot that is stuck to the pan and then add heavy cream, cracked black pepper, and the juices from your steak as its been resting. If the steak does not have a lot of juice from resting, use beef broth instead.

Alternatively if you decide to pan sear your steak instead, save the pan juices to mix into your au poivre sauce.

As the sauce cools down some it will thicken up. You can always use a little cornstarch slurry to thicken a bit more if needed.

Steak sandwich with au poivre sauce

Cut your ciabatta bread lengthwise and in half if need be. Then toast with a little olive oil in a pan. After the bread is toasted, spoon some au poivre sauce on the bottom piece, followed by arugula, thinly sliced steak, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, more au poivre sauce and the top piece of bread.

Every time I think of this sandwich I salivate a little bit. Its just loaded with so much flavor and each ingredient works well together to make the perfect sandwich. It’s a little work to pull this one off but it’s not complicated. You can do this at home and even change up the ingredients to your liking.

One bite and you will agree that all of the hard work has paid off as you enjoy this delicious and loaded steak sandwich with au poivre sauce!

Steak recipes you will love:

Coffee Crusted Ribeyes with grilled corn salsa

Grilled steak pinwheels (with provolone and prosciutto)

Grilled Ribeye steaks with cowboy butter

Grilled flank steak with chimichurri

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Steak sandwich with au poivre sauce

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5 from 1 review

Grilled steak, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and an au poivre sauce that brings the whole thing together. Sometimes you need to treat yourself and when the appetite gets big, this is the one I’m leaning on. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1 loaf of ciabatta bread, cut lengthwise and in half depending on size 
  • 8 oz New York Strip 
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 1.5 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper 
  • 12 ozs sliced baby bella mushrooms 
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup red wine 
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced 
  • 1 tablespoon of steak juices (Or 1 tablespoon of beef broth) 


  1. Slice half a red onion thinly and cook in a pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Be careful not to burn the onions and turn down the heat to avoid if needed. Half way through add red wine and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to stir and cook down onions until they are full caramelized about 30-40 minutes. 
  2. Sauté mushrooms on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Add in your soy sauce a minute before you are finished cooking the mushrooms. Cook until they are soft. About 5-10 minutes. 
  3. Season your NY Strip steak with 1 teaspoon of salt and cracked pepper then reverse sear it. Start your grill or smoker at 250°F until the internal temperature reaches 15 degrees where you like your steak done. Then turn the grill to at least 500 °F or the highest you can go and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side until the steak is at your preferred doneness. I pull mine off at 130°F and rest for 10 minutes. 
  4. Make your au poivre sauce by sautéing minced shallot and garlic with olive oil for 2 minutes until fragrant on medium heat. Next add bourbon and let that deglaze. Stir to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and add heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Also add the juices from your steak that has been sitting out to rest. You can use 1 tablespoon of beef broth if you don’t have enough steak juice. Reduce sauce by about 1/3 and remove from heat. The sauce should thicken some as it cools. 
  5. Cut your ciabatta lengthwise and then in half to make a smaller portion. Then toast ciabatta bread in a pan with a little olive oil and add au poivre sauce on the bottom slice. Add arugula, sliced steak, caramelized red onions, sautéed mushrooms, more au poivre sauce and the top piece of bread. 
  6. Slice bread in half again after the sandwich is assembled and share with a friend or just eat the whole thing! 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: French

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  1. Absolutely 5 star. Making it again tonight. Substituted cognac for the bourbon and filet for the strip steak because that’s what I had

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