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Easy steak recipe: Chi Spacca pepper steak

Written by the YesChef staff

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Nancy Silverton
Teaches her California Cuisine
Nancy Silverton is the world-renowned Michelin-starred chef behind the famous Los Angeles restaurant Osteria Mozza. She refers to her other celebrated restaurant, Chi Spacca, as “an Italian steakhouse on steroids”. This easy steak recipe was adapted from the menu at Chi Spacca so that any level cook would be able to recreate this masterpiece at home. Apart from the classic pepper steak seasoning, home chefs will learn how to make a delicious bacon and charred scallion relish topping. Finally, chef Nancy Silverton will give you her favorite essential tips for grilling a New York steak to perfection.
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Nancy Silverton
Teaches her California Cuisine

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What is pepper steak?

Pepper steak, or black peppercorn steak, uses a seasoning technique where coarsely crushed black peppercorns coat the entire steak. The peppercorns are pressed onto the steak with salt to form a beautiful crust which gives the steak a delicious aromatic pepper finish. In this recipe, chef Nancy Silverton is using a New York strip steak, but you can also use a ribeye or another cut of steak you prefer. The extra treat in this pepper steak recipe is the flavorful topping: a bacon and charred scallion relish. The rich smoked bacon on the grill or in a pan is then tossed with charred scallions, garlic, fresh lemon, and olive oil to create a complex relish to accompany the steak.

Chef Nancy Silverton’s tips for grilling steak

When grilling a New York strip steak, grilling a ribeye, or any other steak, make sure to follow these basic tips:
  • Invest in a meat thermometer to get the right internal temperature of steak.
  • Know the heat zones of your grill. You can control the heat by paying attention to the hotter sides of the grill and moving your steak around to adapt.
  • Leave space in between the steaks. If they are too close together, there is no room for the air to circulate and you will steam them instead of charring.
  • Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes off the heat before cutting.
  • Slice the meat against the grain on a diagonal for a tender chew.

Chi Spacca Pepper Steak

Serves: 4
Hands-on: 40 min
Total: 1 hr 30 min


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 32 ounces boneless New York steaks
    4 (½-inch thick), (about 8 oz each), dry-aged if you like
  • Bacon topping
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
    finely chopped
  • Black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt



  • Grill pan
    or a cast-iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board
  • 4 dinner plates
    or a large platter
  • Chef’s knife


  • To cook the steaks, rub a grill pan or cast-iron skillet with olive oil and set over high heat.
  • Alternatively, you may use an outdoor grill.
  • When the oil begins to smoke, carefully lay two steaks in the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are deeply caramelized and a crust has formed on the surface.
  • Turn the steaks with tongs and sear the second side for 2 to 3 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reads 115°F when inserted into the deepest part of the steaks. Note: This cooking time is for rare steaks.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan and place on a cutting board.
  • Wipe the pan clean with paper towels and coat with the remaining oil.
  • Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until it just begins to smoke.
  • Add the remaining two steaks and cook them as you did the first two.
  • When they are ready, place the steaks on the cutting board as you did with the first two.
  • Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  • Optional: To serve, spoon a couple tablespoons of the bacon topping on the base of four dinner plates or a large platter.
  • Cut them against the grain into ½-inch thick slices.
  • Shingle the pieces of steak on top on top of each plate.
  • Spoon the remaining bacon topping onto the steaks, and sprinkle with fresh chives, dividing them evenly.
  • Season with kosher salt and pepper, if desired.

Nancy Silverton

James Beard Award-winning chef, best-selling cookbook author, and the restaurateur behind Michelin-starred Mozza, Nancy Silverton takes viewers on a journey from her home in Panicale, Italy, to her home in Los Angeles. Viewers learn a range of Nancy’s renowned dishes, including her signature Caesar Salad, Chi Spacca Pepper Steak, 10+ vegetarian dishes, Mom’s Apple Pie, and more.

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