Pepper Steaks with Balsamic Onions

Balsamic Onions…

I made some steaks last night with balsamic onions. The onions would be good on pork or on a sandwich.  Serve it with a baked yam, baby zucchini and your favorite red wine.

Pepper Steaks with Balsamic Onions

Serves 4

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 sweet onions (1½ lb total), such as Walla Walla, Vidalia, or Maui, peeled and slivered lengthwise
About ½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
4 boned tender beef steaks (each 1 to 1½” thick and 9 to 12 oz), such as top loin (New York strip) or rib eye
¼ cup fresh-cracked multicolored peppercorns (see notes)

Melt 1½ tablespoons butter with 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and stir in ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are limp, about 8 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and stir often until onions begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves; stir often until liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Rinse steaks and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt, then coat with pepper. Melt remaining ½ tablespoon butter with ½ tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat (divide among two pans if there’s not enough room for steaks in one). Add steaks and cook until well browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn steaks over and cook until beginning to brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer pan to a 375° oven and bake until medium-rare (still pink in the center; cut to test), 7 to 8 minutes, or until as done as you like (steaks will continue cooking for a few minutes after you take them out of the oven).

Transfer steaks to warm plates. Spoon onions over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1½ teaspoons thyme leaves.

NOTES: To crack the peppercorns, whirl briefly in a spice or coffee grinder or crush with the flat side of a large knife or the flat bottom of a heavy glass.

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