Culinary Arts

Recipe: Pepper Steak with Red Wine Sauce

Wolfgang Puck

Lesson time 14:58 min

While working in three-star restaurants in France, Wolfgang perfected this classic pepper steak. Learn how to flawlessly sear your steak, and discover how to transform the demi-glace you made in the previous chapter into a rich red wine pan sauce.

Wolfgang Puck
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Now I'm gonna show you how to make a delicious pepper steak. You know, we all love beef, but we don't just going to eat barbecue or grilled steaks all the time. When I worked in France, in some of the best restaurants, like Maxime's or like Beau Manoir, pepper steak was one of the staples. It's easy to make, once you have your demi glace or your veal stock ready. The pepper is spicy, how are we going to balance it? With a little sweetness. Now I have some raisins, and guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to plump them up. I'm going to bring them to a boil with some red wine. So this red wine going to help me to deglaze my pan. Also, it will give the wine some sweetness, and I going actually use the raisins in the sauce, too. OK. Now we said we're going to make a pepper steak. We need pepper. You know, there are all kinds of pepper; green pepper, white pepper, and the black pepper. Basically it all comes from the pepper tree. First they are green, then they get white, and then black. They all have different flavors in different stages of ripeness. Here I have this Ziploc bag because I'm going crushed the pepper instead of grinding finely, because I really want to have the bite of the pepper. So we're going to add a little green pepper. All right, a few more. You can do that in advance and then leave the rest right in the Ziploc bag. OK. And I put double the amount of black pepper. OK. So now you lock it up, be sure there is no air in it. If there is air in it, just squeeze the air out and Ziploc it. So now with the mallet or with a rolling pin, be sure to get all the air out, you can smash that up. Make sure that the pepper is really well crushed, you don't want to have whole peppercorns in here. That's still a little bit. So I love coarsely ground pepper on any kind of red meat. If I grill a steak, or if I make a pepper steak, this is always amazing. So let's look at it now. I think it looks pretty good. See that? So you have crushed peppercorns here. Now, the peppercorns are ready. Here I have a New York steak, a New York strip loin, and I'm going to cut two beautiful steaks. If you like the steak more on the well done side, don't cut it too thick. If you like in more on the rare side, we cut it a little thicker. So, let's see. I'm going to cut two beautiful steaks about that size, so. So here I have a beautiful New York You can see it's beautifully marbled, and the marbling really makes the beef stand out. Another thing that makes the beef tender is the aging. If you eat beef which is one week old, it's going to be tough, but after aging it for three, four weeks, or five weeks, it becomes really tender. OK. Now, I going to season my steaks with a salt on both sides. Always we season our meat on both sides. And I season my meat always before I cook it. And...

Become fearless in the kitchen

Legend has it Wolfgang Puck came up with his famous smoked salmon pizza when his restaurant ran out of bagels—and ended up changing the way America cooks. In his MasterClass, the five-time James Beard Award-winning chef behind more than 100 restaurants brings you into his kitchen. You’ll learn not only how to master starters, mains, sides, and cocktails, but also how to take risks to create memorable recipes of your own.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Yes, I enjoyed the class. Techniques and recipes are well presented and seem to be within my caperbility, Wolfgang is a Master at communicating

Yes. I love his courage, philosophy of life an de cuisine, it deeeply touched me. Thank you, grand father Wolfgang!!!

I found Wolfgang interesting and very easy to watch. Of the three chefs, he excelled.

A brilliant class. i loved his teaching style and the sections on business philosphy especially when he spoke about the difficulties he faced at the beginning was open and refreshing. I am impressed with how each class in the masterclass series has difficult music and graphics.


Kris S.

Why the hell cook that meat in Olive Oil?? It has a low smoke point. Why not use sunflower or Nutoil?

Cheryl J.

I made this the other night. The demi glaze I had purchased in a cooking/chef store. Came in little cups. It came out delicious. I used merlot wine . The next time I will put the sauce through a sieve and take out the raisins. I would rather have a smooth sauce than chunky with raisins in it. Otherwise delicious.

Robert M.

I will definitely make this recipe again! The steak came out prefect with a nice blend of sweet, spicy and umami flavour.

A fellow student

I absolutely loved this lesson. I already know the basics of making a stock but he removes all doubt with a smile. Good teacher and good basics taught with this lesson

James E.

I 'knew' Wolfgang Puck through his early cookbooks and I LEARNED A LOT back then. This peppered steak is a splendid example of his ideas. Of course, his technique is 'just right.' I prefer to use red currants rather than raisins in the finishing sauce. This chef is not dogmatic: he is frank to say 'this is how I like it!' We can do the same. Very quickly, we can imagine how to adapt this sauce for duck breast or pheasant or chicken (dark cherries, Seville orange marmalade...well, you know as well as I do.

Glenn T.

I enjoyed the lesson and the steak quite a bit. I had to change a couple of things. I used a reduced beef stock in the red-wine sauce because I couldn't do the veal demi-glaze. And instead of using a salad, I made roast garlic mashed potatoes.

Ted H.

I have long tried to do sauces and I did this a little differently. I built the sauace in a seperate pan and got it largely reduced. One the steaks were resting I used the sauce to deglaze the pan and finial reduction and it worked better then any sauce before since it always seem to take me 15 min to do the sause and the meat gets cold. Seeing Wolfgang rehydate the rasins gave me the idea - THANKS!

Beth A.

Gorgeous! I always make the mistake of salting the sauce too early, thank you for discussing that. Hot pan with oil 4 minutes per side. The oven stone is a great tool, I will put that on my wish list. I also like how you fanned the meal and then slid it onto the knife then onto the plate. I think this will be a great meal to make with my daughter. You are the master! Thank you for sharing!

Jennifer T.

My favorite sauce for a steak is peppercorn and I can't wait to try this recipe!

Susan A.

Wolfgang - what is the plate in the oven that you put things on? Looks almost like a ceramic shelf or almost looks like it's made of stone of some kind. I never saw that. Also wanted to say what a delight it is to watch you in the kitchen - I think we've all watched non-professional cooks on the food network, but it is truly magical to watch someone with your talent. Thank you for this series!