Peppercorn Sauce

My quick and easy peppercorn sauce recipe. It’s made without cream, instead using milk and other common store cupboard and fridge ingredients so you can whip it up whenever you want.

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A small white jug of peppercorn sauce on a slate surrounded by steak, mangetout, cherry tomatoes on the vine and chunky chips.When I first decided to try making my own peppercorn sauce I wanted to find a recipe which could be made with ingredients I always have at home. I found that most recipes have a cream base, which I only have in when I know I’m going to need it. Then I came across this recipe for Quick & Simple Peppercorn Sauce on Stu’s Food which is made without cream. Instead it combines a roux base and milk to give it it’s rich creamy texture and flavour. My own peppercorn sauce recipe has grown from this idea and is the perfect accompaniment to steak, gammon or chicken.

Looking down on a slate with a white jug of peppercorn sauce, cherry tomatoes, mangetout, chunky chips and steak.This sauce can be prepared in advance and then reheated just before serving.

If you’re interested in a lower calorie, lower fat version of this sauce then have a look at my recipe for Peppercorn Sauce… with a healthy makeover.

Looking down on a dark blue jug of peppercorn sauce with mangetout and cherry tomaotes.

5 from 7 votes

Peppercorn Sauce

My quick and easy peppercorn sauce recipe. It’s made without cream, instead using milk and other common store cupboard and fridge ingredients so you can whip it up whenever you want. Recipe VIDEO below.

Course Side Dish
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 146 kcal


  • 35 g butter
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 200 ml milk I use skimmed but any type is fine
  • 100 ml chicken stock or ½ chicken stock cube with 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 15 g (4 tsp) black peppercorns vary this according to how powerful you want your sauce to be
  • Salt


  1. Crack the black peppercorns (15g) in a pestle and mortar (if you don’t have one, put them in a plastic bag, wrap in a tea towel, and hit a few times with a rolling pin) – You want to make sure that the peppercorns are cracked, but do not over-grind otherwise the sauce will lose its intense peppery flavour.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter (35g) on a low heat.
  3. Once the butter is fully melted, gradually add the flour (35g). After each addition mix well to ensure it is fully combined with the butter. Once all the flour is added you should have a thick smooth paste.
  4. Cook the butter and flour mix for a couple of minutes stirring regularly – Cooking the butter and flour mix for a couple of minutes before adding the other ingredients ensures that the flour is cooked. If you skip this step your finished sauce may have an odd floury taste.
  5. Add the brandy (1 tbsp) and mix well to combine with the butter and flour – adding the brandy at this stage ensures that the alcohol is cooked off.
  6. Gradually add the milk (200ml), mixing well after each addition to combine with the butter and flour – I like to switch to using a whisk at this stage as it helps to break down any lumps.
  7. Once all the milk is combined, add the chicken stock and black peppercorns and season with salt (I use approx. ¼tsp)
  8. Simmer gently until the sauce has reduced to your required consistency.

If you’re making the sauce in advance

  1. Once the sauce has cooked, pour it into a jug or bowl and immediately cover with clingfilm. It’s important that you push the clingfilm down into the dish so that it is in contact with the top of the sauce. This will prevent a skin forming.
  2. Just before serving, pour back into a saucepan and heat gently until warm. If you find that the sauce is becoming too thick, add a little milk to loosen it the the required consistency.

Recipe Notes

This sauce can be prepared in advance and then reheated just before serving. This sauce is suitable for freezing, simply store it in an airtight container until you want to use it. It will separate a little in the freezer but you’ll find it’ll come back to its original consistency as it’s heated. It will thicken as it reheats so you’ll need to add a little extra milk to get it back to its original thickness.

Nutrition Facts
Peppercorn Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Potassium 155mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 5.8%
Calcium 7.7%
Iron 4.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Watch a video of the recipe…

Looking down on a blue jug of peppercorn sauce with a baking tray of chunky chips, cherry tomatoes, mangetout and a dark grey pestle and mortar.

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Corn-Free
  • Egg-Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.

Peppercorn sauce without cream - My quick and easy peppercorn sauce recipe. It's made without cream, instead using milk and other common store cupboard and fridge ingredients so you can whip it up whenever you want.


  1. I really enjoyed this sauce, very easy to make and was delicious with our steak and fries.

  2. Absolutely delicious.. thank you for the recipe.. just finished our Saturday steak and the sauce made it extra special …easy to make with on hand ingredients

  3. Made exactly as described except used a little single cream as well as milk. It was better than anything I’ve had in a restaurant. Served with ribeye steak and fried mushrooms it was smile inducing perfection. I love simple recipes like this! Thank you.

  4. Aleksandra Dobron

    My first attempt to homemade peppercorn sauce and it’s delicious. I used green pepper and left out brandy though.

  5. Great recipe. I didn’t have any whiskey or brandy, I used white wine instead and it test yummy too. Thanks a lot

  6. Hi Charlotte, I tried this recipe ahead of Valentines Day as my partner loves his steak with peppercorn sauce and wanted to let you know it tasted great. Hope it goes as well on the day. Many thanks for the recipe.

  7. I love peppercorn sauce and this recipe is just brilliant because you can do it with ingredients you always have in your kitchen!

    • Thanks Helene. I love recipes where I have everything in the cupboard already as I’m terrible at remembering to get everything I need for the supermarket!

  8. This turned out amazing i substituted the brandy for soy sause for more flavor yumm
    Thanks for sharing the recipe

  9. This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you 🙂

  10. Hi I am a useless cook but I am cooking for our neighbours. I’ve just looked and the flour I’ve got is self raising. Is this ok?

    • I’ve never tried is so cannot be sure, but a bit of Googling on similar recipes suggests it should be OK, however the texture of the sauce may be a little different.

  11. I have just made this sauce tonight to have with steak & have some left do you think I could put into a tub & freeze?

    • I’ve not tried freezing it so cannot vouch for exactly what would happen, however I suspect that it would be edible after freezing but you may find that the texture isn’t quite the same.

  12. I’ve tried and failed at making my own pepper sauce. 🙁 I am excited I found this recipe here. Can’t wait to try it!

  13. Just made the peppercorn sauce so easy and very nice everyone enjoyed it

  14. well that worked well! this is getting saved for future use. I didn’t have any brandy, but the Talisker single malt whisky was an excellent substitute. top notch recipe

    • Really glad you enjoyed the sauce, although I can’t help thinking that there are better uses for a single malt whisky 🙂

      • in general, I’d agree with you! But it did work really well! It probably wouldn’t have worked well with some of the smokier, Islay whiskies, but Talisker worked really well. plenty left in the bottle for more sensible uses though!

  15. ive never made pepper sauce, I googled it and your name came up, I must say I made it true to your recipe and it was just delish, so easy to make, i’ll be making this for friends at the weekend. A BIG THANK YOU.

  16. Wow, I did this sauce this morning for my mum with some yamballs, and she said fabulous

  17. we’re having steak tonite so guna attempt the sauce!!

  18. Any chance that leaving the milk out will give me a smooth, silky peppercorn gravy that’s not so creamy?

    • I’ve not tried it, but theoretically it could work as there are plenty of roux-based gravy recipes out there. You would need to add more stock to replace the milk to ensure that it’s not too thick. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.

  19. We’ve literally just made this,had to substitute the chicken stock for beef,it was still great,won’t buy a pre made sauce ever again,everything in the cupboard

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’ve not tried using beef stock before so it’s great to know that it works well.

  20. Thanks for the recipe for peppercorn sauce tasted good.

  21. Oh – I used whiskey instead of Brandy too 🙂

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been asked a few times by people what’s a good substitute for the brandy so I’ll know to recommend whiskey now!

  22. Amazing! I was sure I’d have to have cream to make a peppercorn sauce for tonight’s dinner but then I found then, whipped it up in almost seconds and it’s great! Well of course dinner hasn’t been had yet, but tasted it and love it. Thanks!

  23. Just made this sauce. So easy to make. Excellent recipe. Didn’t use brandy as i didn’t have any. Thanks Charlotte

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Dai, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’d definitely recommend trying it with the brandy if you ever have any in as it tastes even better!

  24. Hi, can I substitute brandy with something else because I don’t have brandy

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’ve always made it with brandy but I know others have tried it simply leaving it out and still enjoyed it.

  25. Fab’ sauce. I did this last night and it was lush! Won’t EVER be using any other recipe for pepper corn sauce. 10/10 Charlotte!

  26. Thank you Charlotte for sharing the recipe for pepper corn sauce . I made it & really enjoyed it , quick & easy . Great !!!

  27. Great recipe. It worked perfectly. I usually make it with cream but didn’t have any hence trying this. From now on will just be doing this one. Thank you Charlotte

  28. Just made this sauce after googling a recipe. not tried it yet, saving for later with steak but was really easy to make with store cupboard ingredients.

  29. Lovely recipe! I like that it uses pantry ingredients, (I also tend to buy cream only when I know I’ll need it). Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Teresa. It’s the sort of thing I end up making a bit on impulse so I love not having to get in any special ingredients.

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