From Recipes 1-2-3, by Rozanne Gold.
If there were such a thing as a Chinese steakhouse, this is the sort of dish it would serve--strong in flavor and suave in texture. As a twist on the classic Carpetbag Steak, which is steak and oysters, top wtih serveral plump juicy bivalves, poached briefly in simmering water.
On a clean kitchen towel, crack 4 teaspoons white peppercorns with a hammer or the flat side of a cleaver. Press the cracked peppercorns into the top of each steak, pounding lightly with your fist.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Cook the steaks over high heat on each side until lightly caramelized. Remove the steaks and keep warm.
Add the oyster sauce to the pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, cut into small pieces. The sauce will get creamy.
Slice the steaks thickly on the bias, or leave whole. Pour the sauce over the top.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.