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Tuna Steaks with Spice Rub and Juniper Jus

June/July 2019 Issue From Moveable Feast Season 6, Ep.3

Seared tuna steaks served with juniper jus and seaweed butter provide a hearty, meatless entrée. This bold dish has what it takes to satisfy red-meat lovers.


For the juniper jus

  • 2 Tbs. demi-glace
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallots
  • 1 Tbs. lightly crushed mixed peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. lightly crushed juniper berries
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Chartreuse or Genepi liqueur
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tuna steaks and seaweed butter

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. lightly crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. lightly crushed white peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. toasted, lightly crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 1-lb. tuna steaks, preferably loin, about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped packaged roasted seaweed snack
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach
  • 2 Tbs. grapeseed or other neutral oil; more as needed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 530
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 320
  • Fat (g): 36
  • Saturated Fat (g): 15
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 1150
  • Carbohydrates (g): 16
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Sugar (g): 10
  • Protein (g): 29


Make the juniper jus

  • Add the demi-glace and 3/4 cup water to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until dissolved. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the peppercorns, juniper berries, and sugar. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Add the vinegar, stirring occasionally until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the liqueur, stirring occasionally until mostly evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock, demi-glace mixture, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced by half, 20 to 22 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the cream, and cook until the mixture begins to simmer and thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Make the tuna steaks and seaweed butter

  • In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. salt, the peppercorns, coriander, and paprika. Rub the mixture all over the tuna steaks. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the seaweed and cook, stirring occasionally, until the seaweed begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, in batches if necessary, stirring until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside, and keep warm.
  • Place a rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the tuna to the skillet, one steak at a time if necessary, and sear for 2 minutes per side for rare or to your desired doneness. Carefully lift the steaks with tongs, and sear the edges on all sides for a few seconds. Transfer the steaks to the prepared rack, and let rest for about 5 minutes. Slice the tuna against the grain, and transfer to a large platter. Top with the seaweed butter, and serve with the jus on the side.

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