Combine first 7 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in rice vinegar, and cool.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge steaks in pepper; sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add beef to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with marmalade; garnish with chives, if desired.