The Simple Things: Butcher’s Pepper

Sometimes it’s a simple thing that make the difference.

While I was picking up a few ribeyes from my local butcher shop in Hoboken, the chatty beef wench behind the counter asked me:

“Have you ever used butcher’s pepper?”

“Butcher’s what?”




Sorry, she had a really heavy local accent. I’ve lived here for years but once in a while I still run into someone whose Jersey jabber is too thick for my poor old southern ears to decipher. Maybe I had a hangover that day. Or maybe I’m just dense.

The conversation continued:

“Oh, pepper. Butcher’s pepper. No, no I haven’t heard of it. What is it?”

“It’s just pepper with a coarser grind. Mash it up with some garlic, it makes a great steak rub. Gives you a nice crust when you grill your steaks.”

“That sounds good! Where do I get that?”

“Any butcher shop. Here, I’ll give you some.”

She gave me a nice sized sample from a big plastic jug she had back there behind the counter.

I thought that was really sweet of her, and I used it all up in pretty short order. Luckily I found a new supply at my local supermarket, they sell something labeled “Coarse Pepper.” I’m not sure if its’ the same thing but it’s close enough.

(Sadly that butcher shop folded up recently. They’d been there a long, long time –at least two decades, that I know of. They were real old school. Simple décor. Very simple décor. Maybe that was the problem, it didn’t have much yuppie appeal. Maybe they could have redesigned the place, and maybe sold some designer meats or something…)

Here’s how I put some of that pepper to use. I found a nice thick grass-fed ribeye at whole paycheck foods. Mashed together some salt, garlic, and the pepper and spread it on the steak.

Added some grass-fed butter, bagged it, and cooked it in the Sous Vide Supreme for about 24 hours, at 132 degrees.

Fired up the mini bge (big green egg), undercover of the night! And in the cold too, it was thirty something degrees out that night.

Once the grill was at full blaze, the steak went straight from the sous vide machine to the grill. Two minutes per side.

Here it is, ready to eat!

Here’s what it looked like, a few bites in.

I gotta say, the texture and flavor of this steak was perfect. Not too mushy, and not at all tough or chewey. One of the best steaks I’ve had in a while. I’ve said it before, but a properly cooked grass fed steak beats a conventional grain fed steak any day. In fact, I cooked some “normal” steaks in the same manner a few days after this. They tasted pretty bland compared to this one.


3 Responses to The Simple Things: Butcher’s Pepper

  1. OMG does that look good.


  2. How well do you like the BGE?

    I love the BGEs! I have two, a mini and a small. I’d use them every day if it were legal where I live (high rise condo with a balcony). As it is, I have to keep things on the down-low, heh heh..

  3. Looks good, but you probably cooked it longer than you needed in the SVS, and too long on each side in the bge. Try 3 hours SV next time, and 1 minute per side.


    Thanks for the feedback, but…

    …I’d agree about the SVS cook time if this was a conventional ribeye. For grass-fed, tho, I find that 8 hours is about the min. and most of the time 24 works fine.

    I do 2 minute sears cuz I like more of char and I actually like the thicker “over-cooked” area under the skin. As long as the steak is really thick and there is plenty of med-rare stuff in the middle.