Pepper Steak


Bob's Steak with Peppers Recipe

Steak with peppers—my Dad—eating in my pajamas—this is the usual trajectory of my thoughts when I eat this dish.

My Dad, Antonio “Tony,” worked at Weirton Steel for 41 years, rotating among the around-the-clock eight-hour shifts and never taking a sick day or vacation time. After he would work the three-to-eleven evening shift, he often had a meal when he got home at eleven-thirty—a sandwich, leftover pasta or, occasionally, steak with peppers—along with a can of Pittsburgh’s Old Dutch Beer (which is no longer brewed.)

On the nights that my Mother would make Dad steak with peppers, the aroma would waft upstairs and wake me. I have special memories of Dad standing at the foot of the stairs and, in a loud whisper, asking me, “Bobby, are you awake?” “Yes.” “Want to have some steak?” “Yes.” Down I would go in my pajamas to share my Dad’s steak with peppers, eating off the same plate.

You can probably understand why this is one of my go-to comfort foods.

Here’s what you’ll need.


1 T-bone steak (although any steak will do)
1 (or 2) Hungarian hot peppers (if you prefer un-spicy, get the mild version)
Garlic salt (not powder!)

Notes: If you use a hot pepper, either wear gloves when you cut it or remember to NOT touch your face after cutting. A splatter screen for the skillet is useful for this dish.

Cut off the top of the pepper, remove the seeds if you like (the pepper is hot even without seeds) and cut it into narrow rings. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; there should be just a little more than a film of oil. Brown the steak well on each side. Turn the heat down to medium low, place the peppers around the meat, and season them and both sides of the steak with a little salt and garlic salt. (Yes, I use both. You don’t have to but garlic salt is an important ingredient.) Stir the peppers as needed to cook and soften them; they’ll brown a little in the process. Use the tip of the knife to cut two or three roughly ¼” slits into the surface of the meat on both sides. Unlike in grilling, here you DO want the juices to come out of the meat and into the oil and hot pepper rings. Cook the steak to taste, remove it to a plate, pour all of the juicy oil and pepper rings onto the steak, and you’re ready to eat.

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