Toast the peppercorns in a dry, heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until very fragrant and smoking, 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to let them burn). Once toasted, grind to a medium consistency--a large coffee grinder works wonderfully.
Mix the salt and the ground peppercorns together to form the base of the rub. Now mix in the brown sugar, onion powder, smoked paprika and red pepper until blended. Store in an airtight container.
Apply the dry rub generously to meats. Rub and pack it on by hand, then let the natural moistness of the meat pick up the seasonings. The longer and harder you rub, the better the rub set you get.
This rub can be stripped down to just 3 ingredients: salt, peppercorns and brown sugar. This is an especially good idea when cooking larger pieces of meat, like brisket. Rubs should always be an accent to the meat's natural flavor. Measurements can be adjusted to personal preference, but the salt, peppercorns and brown sugar ratios should never change.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.