Seared Black Peppercorn Steaks with Horseradish – Potato Salad
Why this recipe works: we were inspire by the technique used in steak aupoivre – coating beef with black peppercorns before searing – but we wanted to do it faster. Cracking peppercorns with the bottom of a pan takes a fair amount of both times and brawn, so we do the job with an adjustable pepper mill set to its coarsest grind. Instead of making a horse radish sauce to go with our steak, we incorporate the same flavors into a potato salad, prepared horseradish can vary from brand to brand; for the best results, use the refrigerated kind instead of one off the supermarket shelf.
Ingredients: serve 4
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ¾ inch chunks salt and pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish, drained
¼ cup chopped chives
4 boneless strip steaks (about 10 ounces each), about 1 inch thick
4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Bring potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch to boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. While potatoes simmer, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 tablespoon vinegar, horseradish, mustard, chives, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper in large bowl.
- Drain potatoes, then spread in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle remaining tablespoon vinegar over hot potatoes and toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat steak dry with paper towels and season with salt. Rub 1 side of each steak with coarse black pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium – high heat until just smoking. Place steaks with peppered side down in skillet and cook until well browned on both side, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Toss cooled potatoes with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Serve with steak.
Tools Pepper Mills
Pepper mills come in a vast range of styles and materials, but what really matters to us and other serious home cooks is performance. The ease of adjusting the grind was an important factor we considered in our testing – we wanted a mill that could flawlessly transition from producing fine grains for light seasoning to making large, coarse ones for constructing crusts on meat. Changing the grind from fine to coarse involves changing the tolerances of, or distances between, the male and female grinding components. We preferred mills that use a screw or dial at the base of the grinding mechanism rather than a finial at the top of the mill which must be screwed down very tight for a fine grind. With that in mind, our hands – down winner was the easy to use, easy to adjust Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill