Rib-Eye Steak au Poivre with Balsamic Reduction
2 Tbs. whole black peppercorns
4 (3/4 inch-thick) boneless rib-eye steaks (3/4 lb each)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ cup balsamic vinegar
Coarsely grind peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Pat steaks dry and coat both sides with peppercorns, pressing to adhere. Season with salt. Heat oil with 1 Tbs. butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate and cook steaks, two at a time, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a platter. Add vinegar to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, scraping up brown bits. Simmer vinegar until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 1 Tbs. butter until melted. Season sauce with salt and drizzle over steaks.