Grilled Steak with Peppercorns

One of the most popular and easiest dishes to make is steak au poivre vert. That is, steak cooked with green peppercorns. It's a classic, and a favorite with firemen in firehouses because it is so easy to prepare, and still considered classically French. Well, the same deal can be done in the hot summer months on the old grill. And you don't need green peppercorns. If you don't have them, you can use regular black peppercorns which can be found in any grocery store. No need to be fancy with the meat, unless you want to. Almost any steak variety can be used, and not just the top quality stuff like rump, porterhouse or rib-eye. Usually, for this type of grilling the best is strip steak, boneless beef steak, beef tenderloin, top round or, if you want to spend a little more cash, sirloin. The steak should be anywhere between 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch thick.

With almost any food item, there are two ways to grill: direct heat and indirect heat. With direct grilling the meat is placed directly over the heat source. This is the basic and most preferred method. For indirect grilling, the heat source is off to the side of where the meat is cooked. For a gas grill this means turning on the burner on one side but cooking the meat on the other side of the grill. The same with a charcoal grill. Just have the heated coals on one side and cooked the meat on the other side. I am not partial to indirect grilling. I like the meat cooked and seared. Choose whatever way works best.

Grilled Peppercorn Steaks
4 steaks
3/4 cup whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup scallions, chopped (can use both green and white parts)
2 cups red wine
1/3 cup capers, drained

1. Put peppercorns, garlic, and oregano in a mortar. Pound until crushed. Add olive oil and mix thoroughly.
2. Coat both sides of steaks with peppercorn-olive oil mixture.
3. Grill steaks, covered with grill lid, about 5-6 minutes per side or until desired doneness.
4. Melt butter is a small skillet. Add scallions and saute 1-2 minutes. Add wine and capers, and cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes). Pour over steaks and serve. Note that this part can be done in the kitchen ahead of time so you can have it ready by the grill.
Yield: 4 servings.

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