Pepper Steak

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

I love pepper steak and this version is simple, elegant and always good. You could try it sometimes with cream — you will need to heat up some of the pepper butter in a saucepan, add a splash of cream, let it all bubble up and then pour this over your hot steak. If you like your meat well done, use two thinner pieces so that they don’t burn in the pan (they need to sear quickly so that the outside is darkly lined and the inside remains pinky, with enough juice to mingle with the pepper butter).


  • 180 g (6 oz) butter, slightly softened
  • 2 small french shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 30 g (1 oz) green peppercorns in brine, rinsed
  • oil, for brushing
  • 2 fillet steaks, about 180 g (6 oz) each


Melt about 50 g ( oz) of the butter in a small saucepan and add the shallots. Cook over low heat for a few minutes until the shallots are golden and softened. Stir almost continuously so that the butter doesn’t burn. Add the brandy and cook until it evaporates. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.

Put the peppercorns in a small blender with the cooled shallots and pan juices and use the pulse button to coarsely chop. If the quantity is too small for your machine, you can chop by hand or add a bit of the remaining butter to the blender. Transfer to a small bowl and work in the rest of the butter. Put onto waxed kitchen paper and roll up into a log, twisting the ends of the paper like a Christmas cracker. You can freeze it at this point, refrigerate until you are ready or keep it at room temperature if you’re going to be using it soon.

Heat a chargrill (griddle) pan to very hot, lightly brush with oil and then add the steaks. Cook them for a couple of minutes on each side (this will depend on the heat of your pan and the thickness of the meat). Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with a little salt and then serve immediately with a good tablespoon of pepper butter melting over the top.