Pepper Steak w/Cognac Cream Sauce Topped with Sauteed Mushrooms and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Happy New Year everyone!  I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but believe me, I have a GREAT excuse!  It’s been an exciting last couple of months at our house, because both daughters have had babies…7 weeks apart! Laura, who lives in Houston, had a little girl, and Alexis, who lives here in San Antonio, had a little boy.  We are thrilled beyond belief to be grandparents!

To celebrate the joys of grandparenthood, I decided to splurge last night with a celebratory dish. Some nice prime New York Strips were just waiting to be rolled in crushed peppercorns and bathed with a velvety brandy cream sauce.  I topped that with some sauteed mushrooms and roasted cherry tomatoes, and let me tell you…Eating just doesn’t get much better than that!

My friend, Tanji Patton, from “Good Taste with Tanji“, posted a recipe from Zinc restaurant that was my inspiration.  I made a few changes, ramped it up a bit, and it turned out to be one great steak!

Zinc’s recipe for the brandy sauce called for demi-glace which is a rich concentrated brown stock that’s carefully reduced until it forms a deep meaty flavored glaze.   In French cuisine, it’s usually used as a base for other sauces, and while commercial kitchens make their own, demi-glace traditionally takes about 25 hours to make.


I was hoping to have dinner on the table within an hour!  With a little determination, though, I found the perfect answer and the secret to a quick and fabulous brandy cream sauce!

More Than Gourmet Demi-Glace Gold…My local grocery store carries it, but you can also order it from  It’s a concentrate and needs to be mixed with hot water, but it’s invaluable to the great flavor of this sauce.

Pepper Steak w/Brandy Cream Sauce Topped with Sauteed Mushrooms and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Sauce Serves 4-6

Printable Recipe


  • New York Strip steaks
  • kosher salt & freshly ground course black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cognac (or other brandy)
  • 1 cup demi-glace (made from a 1.5 oz container Demi-Glace Gold concentrate mixed with 3/4 cup hot water)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Toppings (optional):

  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

STEAKS: Season both sides of steaks with kosher salt & course black pepper, pressing pepper into the meat so it doesn’t fall off.  Grill to desired doneness, cover with foil and let rest 5-10 minutes.  (As an alternative, you can saute the steaks in a little canola oil in a saute pan over medium heat until the peppercorns have caramelized.  At this point the steaks should be rare to medium rare.)

SAUCE: (SEE NOTE!) Mix 1.5 oz. container demi-glace with 3/4 cup very hot water and stir until dissolved.  Set aside. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add shallots.  Saute 2-3 minutes or until soft.  REMOVE SKILLET FROM HEAT! Once off the heat, add cognac, place skillet back on heat and flambe by either tilting skillet to the open flame or lighting with a long-handled match or lighter.  Once flame is gone, add prepared demi-glace and cream, reduce heat to simmer and cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring to incorporate.  Season to taste with salt.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over high heat.  When foam subsides, add 1 pound of sliced mushrooms and toss 4-5 minutes until they absorb the fat.  Continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes as they start to brown rapidly.  Remove from heat when light brown and add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400º.  On sheet pan, toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast 15-20 minutes until they start to shrivel and burst.

***NOTE: Alcohol is VERY flammable.  Be VERY CAREFUL when flambeing.  Always remove your skillet from the fire, add cognac and then return to the flame.  If you haven’t done this before, I highly suggest using either a long handled match or one of those long lighters. Stand back, light the cognac and watch it burn down.  This will take about 3-4 minutes, so DON’T TURN YOUR BACK on the fire.  Always keep a close eye on it!  If you’ve done this before, you know you can merely tilt your pan to the open flame and it will catch fire.


One Response

  1. Better late than never–thanks, Liz, for the mention of our product. There’s nothing like demi-glace for making a great sauce. Love your addition of the brandy, and the combination the the roasted tomatoes, mushrooms with the sauce sounds delicious! Have fun with your grandchildren!

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