You know how when a dish just kind of pops into your head? Then, like an ear wormed song, you just gotta feed the jones, right? Well, pepper steak was what I got stuck with, but the same ol’ version just felt kinda dull. Naturally, I thought of a southwest twist, and here’s what I came up with; works great for just about any cut of beef.
1 Tablespoon whole peppercorns, your choice, (We like black, green, red and white blend).
½ medium sweet Onion.
2 – 3 mild green Chiles, (Hatch, preferably, or Anaheim).
¼ cup Reposado or Anejo Tequila.
1 cup Beef Stock, (Can also use dark chicken stock if you like).
½ cup Crema, (Or heavy cream).
¼ cup Cilantro.
2-3 Tablespoons Canola oil.
Trim your steaks as needed, leaving enough fat for taste. Rub steaks with olive oil and sea salt, lightly, on all sides. Allow steaks to sit in fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Cook your steaks in a dry sauté pan on medium high heat: Leave the first side alone for about 3 minutes, (Or one good, old fashioned rock and roll song – Faultless method…), then flip, and leave ‘em on for about another song, then test temp with a thermometer – Follow the guide for finish temps – Rare – 140º F, Medium Rare – 150º F, Medium – 160º F. Remember that meat will keep cooking for a bit after you remove it from the grill, and do NOT cut any flesh for at least 10 minutes after it’s off the heat.
In your dry sauté pan on medium-high heat, roast your peppercorns for a couple minutes, but watch them closely – no burning here – When they start to dance and pop, it’s time to come off.
Remove the pepper, add and heat your oil.
In a molcajete, (Or mortar and pestle), lightly crush the pepper, leaving pretty good sized chunks.
Cut onion and chiles into ¼” strips and sauté in the oil until they start to turn translucent.
Add tequila to deglaze the pan, and allow the alcohol to burn off. Add the beef stock and cilantro when your tequila looks about half gone. Turn down to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce by about 1/3: You want it to nicely coat a spoon; when it does, it’s time to move on.
Remove the sauce from heat, throw into a blender and blend well. Process results through a strainer, return to sauté pan.
Add the crema and peppercorns and, over medium-low heat, blend well.
Slice your beef and arrange on serving plates.
Serve with roasted corn or a spud, maybe some green beans, or maybe both!