Trim any excess fat you can off the meat. Set the steaks in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, grind together the peppercorns, salt, and herbes de Provence until the peppercorns are coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon each of whiskey and olive oil. Rub this spice paste all over the steaks. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for 1 hour. Heat your nonstick frying pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and heat 1 minute longer. Add the steaks, cover, and cook until the bottom is brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook the second side, uncovered, until browned on the bottom and rare inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Carve the meat against the grain on a sharp angle into 3 slices. The rarer you like your meat, the thicker the slices should be. Just before serving, melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. Return the steak slices to the skillet. Immediately pour the 1/4-cup Scotch whiskey into the pan, keeping your face averted, because sometimes it catches on its own. Carefully ignite with a match and shake the pan until the flames subside. Serve at once or cook 1 to 2 minutes longer if you want the meat well done. Serve the steak with the pan juices poured over the slices.
Use extreme caution when igniting alcohol. Remove the pan from the heat source before adding the alcohol. Pour the alcohol into the pan and carefully ignite with a match or click lighter. Return the pan to the heat and gently swirl to reduce the flames.
Recipe courtesy of John Boswell, author, "A Man and His Pan"
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