Black Pepper-Honey Steak


© 2005 Lynne Rossetto Kasper. All Rights Reserved

Serves 3 to 4

Honey is the edge in this recipe. Once cooked, you taste only the barest hint of sweetness, yet honey or sugar opens up all the meat's bold beefiness. Each mouthful delivers fabulous crustiness, and a hum of black pepper.

I've used wine here because alcohol frees up every possible nuance of taste not touched by the honey. If possible, use beef raised on vegetarian feed, ideally grass-fed and organic.

Classic with this would be a wedge of iceberg with homemade bleu cheese dressing and either potato salad, or little new potatoes, foil wrapped and baked in the coals. Pour a fruity Zinfandel.

  • 3 tablespoons red wine
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 big cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, and more as needed
  • 2 pounds of steaks (chuck rib eye, Porterhouse, T-bone, top loin, New York Strip
    Delmonico or Kansas City strip), cut 1º to 1Ω inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • Coarse salt

Combine the wine, honey, garlic and pepper in a shallow dish; add the steak, coating it with the mixture. Let stand at room temperature while you set up the rest of the meal.

Heat the grill, or burn wood charcoal (instead of regular briquettes) until a gray ash forms. You want two piles of coals on either side of an empty center.

Pat steak dry, place over hottest part of grill. Sear quickly on both sides. Move to where there's lower heat and cook, turning often, 10 minutes, or until steak reaches an internal temperature of 125° to 130° (for medium rare). Remove to a platter and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. The steak finishes cooking, collects itself and is much juicier for the wait. Serve steaks whole or sliced.


Main Dishes
Cook time: 
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