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Eric Ripert's Swordfish au Poivre

Eric Ripert's romantic French favorites: Swordfish au Poivre and Byaldi. TODAY, February 7th 2017.
Eric Ripert's romantic French favorites: Swordfish au Poivre and Byaldi. TODAY, February 7th 2017.Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
7 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Swordfish is a great alternative to steak or other red meats. It was my mother's specialty.

Technique tip: This fish is best served medium-rare. Be sure to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Swap Option: You can use tuna steaks instead of swordfish if you prefer.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 6-ounce swordfish steaks
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Lemon wedges



Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in each of two 12-inch non-coated sauté pans (or one very large pan) over high heat. Season the swordfish generously with salt and pepper on both sides.


Sear each swordfish steak until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. The swordfish should be warm in the center, but still quite rare.


Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from one of the pans (or the large pan) and add the peppercorns and butter. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and bloom the peppercorns lightly.


Remove the pan from the flame, pour in the brandy pan and swirl around the pan to deglaze. Carefully tilt the edge of the pan toward the flame to light the brandy on fire. Once the fire goes out, return the pan to the stove over low heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream and reduce slightly until thickened, about 3 minutes and season to taste with salt.


To serve, place the swordfish in the center of the plates. Spoon the sauce over and around the swordfish and squeeze over lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.