Recipe and Photo by Chef Erin Coopey,

Pepper Seared Ahi with Brandied Brown Sauce

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup caramelized onions, recipe below
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 6 to 7 ounce ahi tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. Prepare caramelized onions and keep warm.
  2. Place the shallots and brandy in a small sauce pan back over medium heat. Simmer until the brandy is almost gone. Be sure to keep stirring so the shallots don't burn.
  3. Once the brandy is almost completely cooked off, add the stock. Reduce the stock by at least half and more if you want the sauce thicker.
  4. Add the butter and whisk until melted and the sauce has a velvety shine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm while you prepare the tuna.
  5. Sprinkle tuna steaks on both sides with salt, then sprinkle with coarsely cracked black pepper, pressing gently to adhere. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add tuna steaks and sear until brown outside and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side.
  6. Divide warm caramelized onions among 4 plates. Using tongs, place tuna steaks on the onions and spoon sauce over each.

Caramelized Onions

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes.