Peppercorn rib-eye steak with béarnaise sauce

Peppercorn rib-eye steak with béarnaise sauce

Peppercorn ribeye steak works wonderfully with a rich, buttery béarnaise. The sauce can be tricky to make, but it's well worth mastering.


For the peppermix

For the steak

  • 2 rib-eye steaks (approx. 225g/8oz each), well marbled with fat, at room temperature
  • ¼–½ tbsp peppermix (see above)
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil

For the béarnaise sauce


  1. To make the peppermix, combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder. Season the steaks on both sides with the peppermix and a pinch of salt. Any excess spice mix can be stored in an air-tight container for future use.

  2. To make the béarnaise sauce, heat the vinegar, tarragon, shallot, pepper and three-quarters of a tablespoon of water in a small saucepan. Boil until the volume of liquid has reduced to a tablespoon.

  3. Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, ensuring the bowl is not touching the water. Add three-quarters of a tablespoon of water and the egg yolk and whisk with a balloon whisk until the mixture is creamy and increased in volume.

  4. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the clarified butter. Stir in the tarragon and shallot reduction. Season with a good pinch of salt.

  5. To cook the steaks, make sure they are at room temperature. Brush a ridged griddle pan with the oil and place over a high heat. When the pan is hot, add the steaks and cook for 1–2 minutes per side for rare, 2–2½ minutes per side for medium or up to 4 minutes per side for well done, depending on the thickness. Remove from the pan, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes at room temperature.

  6. Serve the steak with the béarnaise and a side of butterhead lettuce salad or green beans.

Recipe Tips

The smoky peppermix can be used on steaks or sprinkled on lamb, chicken or roasted vegetables. Make extra and keep in an airtight container to use in other recipes.

To cook the steak on a barbecue, light the charcoal barbecue 30–40 minutes ahead of cooking time. Brush the grill with the oil. Barbecue the steaks for 1½–4 minutes per side, depending on their thickness or how well done you like them. Cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes at room temperature.

To make your own clarified butter, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Skim off the frothy foam from the surface and discard. The white milk solids will sink to the bottom and the clear yellow butterfat will be on top. Carefully pour the clear fat into a bowl or jug, leaving the milky residue in the pan (discard this). Clarified butter is perfect for frying as it can be heated to a very high temperature before burning, unlike regular butter. Because clarified butter is pure fat, it keeps well. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for up to six months.

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