Tough, sinewy cuts of meat like brisket beg for slow, low cooking. But lean, tender cuts like filet mignon just need a quick pan-sear and a smear of peppery butter. Though a drizzle of Béarnaise sauce doesn’t hurt.
1Place both peppercorns in a plastic zip-top bag and crack them on a work surface with a mallet until they’re broken into small pieces but not pulverized. Place them in a medium bowl, add the butter, and mix until combined.
2Season the steaks all over with salt. Divide the peppercorn butter among the filets and rub to evenly coat both sides.
3Heat the oil a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the steaks and cook undisturbed to the desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.