Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese-Chive Butter

5 tablespoons black peppercorns, cracked
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons table salt
4 (7- to 8-ounce) center-cut filet mignons, 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick, dried thoroughly with paper towels.

For: Blue Cheese-Chive Butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup crumbled mild blue cheese, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Heat the peppercorns and 5 tablespoons of the oil in a small saucepan over low heat until faint bubbles appear. Continue to cook at a bare simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, until the pepper is fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When the mixture is at room temperature, add the salt and stir to combine. Rub the steaks with the pepper mixture, thoroughly coating the top and bottom of each steak with the peppercorns. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap and press gently to make sure the peppercorns adhere; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until faint smoke appears. Place the steaks in the skillet and cook, without moving the steaks, until a dark brown crust has formed, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the steaks and cook until well-browned on the second side, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the steaks to the hot baking sheet. Roast until the center of the steaks registers 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer for rare (5 to 7 minutes), and 125 degrees for medium-rare (6 to 8 minutes). Transfer the steaks to a wire rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before serving.

For Blue Cheese-Chive Butter:

Combine the butter, cheese, and salt in a medium bowl and mix with a stiff rubber spatula until smooth. Fold in the chives. While the steaks are resting, spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the butter on each one.


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