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Feb 29, 2012 04:48 PM

How bad can green peppercorns in brine go?

I'm all set to make green peppercorn steak for dinner tonight, but realized my peppercorns in brine had an expiration date three years ago. I've never used green peppercorns, but a gal's gotta wonder... how bad can they go? I opened the can (which was not bulging) and it smells peppery in there. Two stores later, it's clear it's those old peppercorns or nothing.

Recipe calls for:
2T butter
1T oil
4 steaks
2 T shallots
2T canned green peppercorns
1T dijon
2T cream

Oh yeah, I'm not such a hot meat cook either--this was a special Leap Day surprise for my guy who loves Australian-style pepper steak. Sooooooo, what's a gal to do?

Thanks for any and all help!!

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  1. really, they should be fine. brining for preservation was invented well before canning or refrigeration. they may not be as flavorful as they should be, but that's your call.

    plenty of au poivre recipes out there though, using black pepper.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Thanks for the quick reply hotoynoodle! We've tried several of the black pepper kinds and they aren't quite what he's remembering so I thought I'd try this one.

      Hopefully the special Leap Day surprise will be delighted taste buds, not something else. And based on your guess about flavorful, I'll up the amount. Thanks again!

    2. fyi, the peppercorns did not harm us... though we both now know we prefer dried black peppercorns to brined green ones.

      1 Reply
      1. re: miss louella

        If there is a cake of "bugs" floating on top, time to throw them out.