Valentine’s Tomahawk Steak and Peppercorn Sauce

by Jilly McCord

This is a perfect sharing dish for a Valentine celebration or any special occasion with friends and family. The Tomahawk steak adds real drama and the bone adds to the flavour of the cooking of the steak. No problem if you can’t get hold of a Tomahawk, the recipe would work with any thick Sirloin, Ribeye or Rump steak to share. This homemade peppercorn sauce with whisky is a beautiful accompaniment and easy to make again and again once you have the knack. The freshly ground pepper from my red London Gloss Mill adds that extra spice and is a lovely addition to romantic table setting!

Difficulty Easy/Medium

Cooking/prep time: 20 minutes prep and 20 minutes cooking time

Serves: 2


For the steak

  • 1 Tomahawk steak to share – ask your butcher to prepare this – it is a rib eye steak left on the bone and perfect for sharing
  • Sprig of rosemary and/or thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic with skin on
  • 50g butter

For the sauce

  • 1 banana shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 rich beef stock pot
  • 80ml whisky
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp green peppercorns in brine
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Remove the steak from the fridge at least an hour before cooking to reach room temperature. Then rub in sunflower oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Set your oven to 190C
  3. In a frying pan, add a little olive oil and butter and melt. Now add the diced shallot and sauté in the pan on a gentle heat until soft.
  4. Add the diced garlic and sauté for a further minute. Now add the stock pot and mix together with the onion and garlic.
  5. Turn up the heat on the pan and carefully add the whisky – use a match or light to set the whisky on fire. Be very careful since the whisky flames will reach quite high – keep your face well back and remove from the heat until the flames have died down.
  6. Now return the pan to the heat and add the cream and a little water to make a loose sauce. Reduce until creamy consistency.
  7. If you wish, you can now strain out the onion and garlic through a sieve and return the sauce to the pan.
  8. Add the peppercorns and several twists of your pepper grinder
  9. Cover and set sauce aside until ready to re-heat and serve
  10. Now use a heavy based or cast-iron frying pan (ideally one that can go into the oven). Heat until smoking hot on the hob.
  11. Now add the Tomahawk steak to the pan and sear until a crust forms on either side. Now place the whole pan in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  12. If you have a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the steak – you are hoping for an internal temperature of around 40C before removing from the oven. If you do not have a meat thermometer, you are looking for the steak to still be springy to touch
  13. Return the steak pan back to the hob and add the 2 cloves of garlic, the herbs and the butter. Heat until the butter is foaming and spoon over the steak several times to get all the flavours and a nice brown finish.
  14. The most important thing with steak cookery is the resting time – so place on a wooden board or plate and have some foil over the top and a towel to keep the heat in. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. The internal temperature should be around 50C for medium rare and 55C for medium/well done
  15. This is the time to get your sides organised – I just had some simple French Fries in the oven and green salad. Re-heat your peppercorn sauce, adding a little water if it has become too thick and some more seasoning if required.
  16. To serve, slice the steak into thin pieces and pour over the peppercorn sauce. Share with the one you love!

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