Give your steak and pepper match-up an Australian flavour with native pepperberries. Photo: William Meppem
Food writer Jill Dupleix suggests using native pepperberries for a twist on traditional pepper steak. ''They're like slightly softer peppercorns, even though they are not, they're just dried berries. But they pack a brilliant, pungent, peppery, astringent punch - very addictive. I use them for pepper steaks, in dips and relishes, gravies, and for my 'bush gravlax', a cure for ocean trout using native ingredients.'' Get them, and other native herbs and spices, at bushtuckershop.com.
Native pepperberry steak
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsp ground native pepper berry
half tsp sea salt flakes
2 scotch fillet steaks, 180g each
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sherry or brandy
125 ml beef or chicken stock
2 tbsp cream
Native pepperberry plant at Melbourne's CERES nursery. Photo: Marina Oliphant
Crush the black peppercorns, and mix with the ground native pepper berry and sea salt on a flat plate.
Press one side of each steak into the mixture. Heat the olive oil in a heavy non-stick pan until hot. Add the steaks, pepper-side down, and leave for 3 minutes over moderate heat, pressing down lightly.
Turn once, and cook for 2 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from the pan, and allow to rest for 3 minutes. For an accompanying sauce, add butter to the pan, then the brandy (which may flame) and stock and bring to the boil, stirring well, until saucy. Add cream, heat through and strain over the steaks to serve.
Serving suggestion: Team with warrigal greens, samphire, sea succulents such as karkalla, or watercress.