Monday, October 3, 2011

Research before cooking

Green peppercorns: I'd never heard of them before coming across the Edmonds recipe for green peppercorn sauce (p186). Things like this are a worry to me, since if I haven't heard of them, I don't know where to shop for them. Do you get them dried, or fresh, or what?

On a recent visit to Bin Inn, I checked the peppercorns and found that while there was no separate bin for green peppercorns, there were green ones amongst the 'gourmet' peppercorn mix. I decided these must be the ones I was looking for, and stood there for quite a while, carefully picking out a tablespoon's-worth. Of course, when I took my purchases up to pay, the owner told me she actually has separate bags of green and red peppercorns behind the counter. Oh well.

This evening, having gathered the rest of the ingredients, I tried out the recipe. You start by melting butter, then add the peppercorns, along with cream, lemon juice, egg yolks, sour cream and mustard. I've just noticed that the recipe actually says 'prepared mustard'; I must have misread this, as I actually used mustard powder. Oops.

I let this mixture heat gently as I cooked my steak and sorted some veges and oven fries. The sauce thickened just as it was threatening to start boiling, so I took it off the heat while I finished the rest of my meal.

The sauce was creamy and tangy; on the whole quite tasty. It went well with the steak and was great for dipping chips in. The only thing about the sauce that didn't really work was the main ingredient, i.e. the peppercorns. I'd assumed they would soften up in the sauce, but really they were just fiery, peppery lumps in an otherwise nice sauce. I started to suspect that dried peppercorns, even if they are green in colour, are not what is intended for this recipe.

So I went to Google images and searched 'green peppercorns'. There were some dried green ones amongst the pictures, sure. But most of them looked like this:

That's right, I'm a muppet: seems I should have been looking for peppercorns bottled in brine. I guess I really should have consulted Google before heading to the shops. Lesson learnt? Who am I kidding: probably not!


  1. Ahaha!! Brilliant. I would have totally made the same mistake. The sauce (sans peppercorns) sounds nice though, eh!

  2. look for small cans of green peppercorns in the canned vege area. yum peppercorn sauce!

  3. Thanks for that: I'll have a look. Sure would be yummy without those nasty hard peppercorns in it!


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