Last night my French cooking teacher reprimanded me for salting and peppering some meat that we were going to brown for a braise (it was rabbit). She claimed that we "always" salt and pepper the meat *after* browning to avoid burning the pepper. According to her, peppering beforehand risks imparting a burnt flavor to the dish.
Can anyone confirm or disprove this? I've always thought it important to season meat before browning to seal in the flavors with the meat, rather than sprinkling seasoning that will wash off on top of bland meat. I've never noticed a burnt flavor in my soups, stews, or braises.
Plus, doesn't steak au poivre break this so-called rule? I just don't buy it.