“When coming up with ideas for a recipe to pair with Emily’s, I had every intention of pairing it with something chocolate, as a break from my usual savory recipes. But, as soon as I took a sip, Emily’s just screamed steak! It had some really nice coffee notes, dark fruit and a nice spice that I thought would hold up well to red meat, char, and some bold flavors. Plus, a special wine deserves a special meal!
After four rounds of different steak pairings, I decided to go with a prime rib and green peppercorn-bourbon butter. The richness of the butter and bourbon, together with the spice and herbal qualities from the peppercorns and d’espellete, really make the fruit in the wine jump out and the dish sing.”
Prime Rib Steaks with Green Peppercorn Bourbon Butter
By Chef Cristina Topham
Yield: 1/2 cup (enough for 4-6 steaks)
2 Prime Rib Steaks, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick (or whatever your favorite steak is!)
1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons bourbon (I used Bulleit)
2 teaspoons shallots, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon piment d’espellete, or a pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon flake salt, such as Maldon Sea Salt
Salt and pepper for seasoning the steak
Preheat grill (if using). Remove steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
Pour green peppercorns in a small plastic bag. Using a meat pounder or the backside of a small frying pan, crush the peppercorns until they are well broken up. In a medium bowl, add the peppercorns, butter, and all the remaining ingredients, except the flake salt. With a fork, mash and mix the herbs and spices into the butter. When ingredients are well incorporated, add the salt and mix until combined.
Season the steaks well, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Cook steaks to your liking (120 F = rare, 126 F = med rare, 134 F medium. Anything beyond that is overcooked, in my humble opinion).
Allow steaks to rest for 10 minutes. While steak is still warm, spread a large spoonful of peppercorn-bourbon butter over the steak. Dig in!
Chef Cristina Topham is a freelance chef, cooking instructor and preserver based in Sonoma. Visit her website for more info: http://www.cristinatopham.com