Marinate the steaks in root beer for 24 hours. Remove the steaks from the root beer and pat dry. In a small bowl mix the pepper, hot paprika, sweet paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, ground thyme, file powder, and mustard powder together for the Cajun Spice Mix. Put the Cajun spice mix on a tray and heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Season the steaks with salt and press the steaks into the Cajun spice mix on both sides. Put the steaks, one at a time, in the hot cast iron pan, sear for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side for a medium-rare steak, allow to rest before serving. Spoon the Sugar Snap Peas, recipe follows, over the steak, garnish with flaked salt and serve with Potato Gumbo, recipe follows.
To make the sugar snap peas: Blanch the trimmed sugar snap peas in salted boiling water. Drain the peas and season with flaked salt.
For the potato gumbo: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until golden brown. Add the garlic and smoked bacon and continue to saute. Once the bacon has cooked and becomes crisp, add the celery, Swiss chard stems, and green pepper, saute until tender. Remove the bacon mixture from the pan, put in a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the same saute pan, add the flour and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon incorporating the flour and oil to form a paste. Cook until the flour becomes brown and nutty in color. Add the chicken stock, water, and cayenne, stir. Add the potatoes and reserved bacon mixture to the liquid. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender and the liquid reduces, achieving a thick consistency, approximately 30 minutes. Add the Swiss chard leaves, season with salt, and pepper, and allow to cook until the leaves are wilted, serve.
Recipe courtesy of Roger Mooking