Peppercorn & Thyme Crusted Tomahawk Steak
2 x 1.2kg tomahawk steaks
Olive oil, to brush
Melted butter, to brush
Peppercorn & Thyme Crust
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 tbsp whole pink peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme, plus extra to garnish
1 shallot, finely chopped
2⁄3 cup brandy or whisky
11⁄4 cups beef stock
3⁄4 cup thickened cream
Remove steaks from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
Preheat your hooded barbecue or oven to 115-120°C. (Both of these methods will work fine, just make sure your oven is big enough for these large steaks.)
To make the crust, use a mortar and pestle or a small food processor to coarsely grind the black peppercorns, then add the pink peppercorns, sea salt and thyme; grind to combine.
Remove 1 tablespoon of the mixture and reserve, as this will be used later. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil, then press the seasoning onto the steak.
If cooking in the oven, foil line a very large baking tray and place the steaks on a rack on the tray. Place in the oven. If cooking on the barbecue, place the steaks on the grill away from the heat source (you want a gentle cook for now) and then close the hood.
Allow the steaks to cook for about 1 hour, but start checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer after around 45 minutes. You ideally want the internal temperature to be around 41-51°C before you sear.
Remove the meat from the barbecue or oven, then increase the barbecue grill heat or place a large chargrill pan over medium- high heat. Brush the steaks with some melted butter and sear on each side, brushing with more
butter during cooking if desired. Sear the steaks until cooked to your liking, when tested with a meat thermometer. Depending on how you like your steak, here is a guide: 51°C for rare, 57°C for medium-rare, 62°C for medium, 68°C for medium-well done, and 70°C for well done.
Remove the steaks from the heat and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving on a platter. Garnish steaks with the extra thyme, and serve with the peppercorn sauce and roasted red onions on the side if desired.
To make the peppercorn sauce, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add the chopped shallot and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until softened. Increase the heat slightly and add the brandy, allow to cook off for 1 minute. Add any meat juices and stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to about half.
Add the cream and reserved peppercorn & thyme crust and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until thickened, then season with salt to taste.
• To make roasted red onions to serve with the tomahawk steaks, simply peel and quarter 6 medium onions and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oven to 180°C and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
• Reverse searing is best used with larger and thicker cuts of meat, and results in melt-in-the- mouth juicy steaks. It will help you achieve the perfect medium- rare steak from top to bottom.
• Invest in a good thermometer before trying this technique, as unfortunately you can’t use the ‘touch’ method here. Place the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak – it will give you the perfect steak every time. • Instead of using a pastry brush to apply the melted butter to the steak, try using a rosemary twig. This will impart a lovely flavour to the meat.