Marinated and skewered, Grilled Pepper Steak is simple, yet so delicious! The marinade tenderizes the steak while the peppers and red onions help to flavour it. Perfectly prepared to medium-well in about twelve minutes!
I have a fascination with cooking meat on skewers – just like this Grilled Pepper Steak! It’s always been something that I loved to do, but have not been able to do much of it on an outdoor grill until this summer. You see, previous to buying our house, we only had our city apartment. Barbecues are not permitted on outdoor balconies, so my grilling was limited to an indoor grill. It’s just not the same, is it?
Our friends, Gloria and Michael, have a cottage that would we visit once or twice each summer. I would take full advantage of the grill when we were there. In fact, some of the recipes on my blog have been prepared and photographed there. My Greek Tofu Skewers and my Grilled Basil Pesto Potato Skewers are just two examples.
This is our third summer owning a house. The first summer we had very little time for outdoor grilling. We took ownership of the house in June. We would drive the 3.5 hours from Toronto on Friday night after work. Saturday would be filled with all the tasks associated with buying a 160 year old home. Then, on Sunday, we would pack up and drive back.
The second summer, we spent a lot of time here. In fact, last March, at the beginning of Ontario’s first lockdown, we decided to spend it at the house. We packed up the car, along with the cats, and stayed out of the city. And, even though we spend most of last summer at the house, we did not have a deck until it was built on in November. So, this summer, it’s all in!
At the first sign of sunshine, we bought an outdoor grill and flattop. I had to have a smoker, so I got one of those too. And, just recently, I bought an oversized outdoor stand stove. I haven’t used that one yet. It will be put to good use when I start some heavy duty canning later this month! These Pork Belly Burnt Ends were the first recipe I prepared in my smoker.
GRILLED PEPPER STEAK
Let’s talk about this steak! I love this recipe, because it allows you to use the cheapest cut of steak or beef. Whenever I grill skewered red meat, I like the pieces to be quite large. This prevents me from overcooking the beef. You see, I want the beef to have nice grill marks and I want it to be a little charred. I love the flavour of those charred bits!
Using an actual steak for this recipe can be expensive, because you will want the steak to be cut into at least 1 1/2 inch cubes. Buying a steak that is that thick might be costly. If you can’t find a good sale on steak, you can use beef instead.
To be perfectly honest, you can use just about any cut of beef you want for this dish. Here’s how I decide. If I’m going to take the time to sear all of the sides, and if I want a dish to be quick and easy, I’ll choose a cut of beef that has a lot of fat or marbling. This helps to keep the beef tender and moist during the frying process. A good example of this would be a sirloin tip roast. The best choices are the center roast or the center steak. The side steak is also a good choice. Of the sirloin tip cuts, these three have the most marbling and will result in a better dish overall.
PREPARING THE STEAK
The key to a really good steak skewer is rather simple. You should always marinate the beef first. By doing so, you are not only injecting flavour into the beef, you’re also making that steak much more tender. That seems basic enough, right? Well, there’s one more thing you’re doing as well. You’re ensuring that the beef doesn’t dry out on the grill.
I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but whenever I grill meat, the animalistic caveman that lives somewhere in my subconscious whispers in my ear. He says, “Hey LB – it’s not going to taste any good unless it’s totally engulfed in flames!” You see, I’m one of those people who loves to have strong grill marks, but don’t care to have overcooked meat. I find I can get both with a very hot grill and lots of flame.
The charred fatty bits on a steak are the best part for me, but not everyone feels the same way. Likewise, not everyone likes their steak to be medium-well. If you’re one of those who prefer steak to be rare or medium-rare, I admire you! You never have to worry about trying to eat a dry steak.
Those of us who like a tender steak, but would prefer not to have any trace of pink, suffer greatly. Why is it that a steak goes from medium-well to overcooked in thirty seconds? I have learned to combat that with marinating and high heat. While the high heat cooks the steak thoroughly, the flames help to get those char marks and flavour, but the marinade keeps that steak moist and tender.
LET’S TALK ABOUT MARINATING
When it comes to marinating beef, some of us think that it’s okay to marinate it all day or even overnight. That might work for some marinades, but not all. Let me explain.
If you’re using a marinade that has acidity in it, then I would not marinate longer than two hours. The acid will react with the enzymes in the beef and actually toughen it. Since this particular marinade has next to no acidity, it’s safer to marinate the beef for a longer period of time.
My favourite marinades for chicken always uses buttermilk. Buttermilk helps to make for a more tender chicken dish. The acidity of the buttermilk will break down protein structures in the chicken, and helps it to retain moisture a whole lot better. But, my favourite marinade for beef is always olive oil based. The olive oil has the unique ability to pull the flavours from the other marinade ingredients and infuse them right into the beef.
Therefore, a marinade consisting of more mellow ingredients, like a mixture of olive oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, etc., would allow for a longer marinating time. For this particular marinade, I would highly recommend you allow the beef to marinate for at least two hours. But, to get the best results, try marinating your beef for 12 hours or overnight.
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED PEPPER STEAK
This is super easy. Measure all of the marinade ingredients into a mason jar. Put the lid on and shake it very well until everything is mixed together. Next, transfer the prepared steak to a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Pour the marinade over the steak and toss the pork well to combine with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but longer is better. Don’t exceed more than 24 hours though.
Once the beef has marinated, it’s time to assemble the skewers. The most important thing to remember is that you should not pack the beef tightly on the skewer. My rule of thumb when preparing Grilled Pepper Steak is to skewer one piece at a time, making sure that each piece just touches the next. I do not push the pieces together, because this will prevent the beef from caramelizing properly.
Just like when you preheat your oven when you bake a cake, preheating a grill is vitally important for several reasons, but there are two I’ll discuss now. First, preheating a grill will prevent the beef from sticking. When the grill is hot, and the beef is placed on it, it will instantly begin to sear the meat. This sear not only adds flavour and looks pretty, it also prevents the beef from sticking.
Secondly, preheating the grill will pretty much eliminate the need to overcook! If you place the beef on a cold grill and turn on the heat, before the grill is hot, the beef has already started to cook from the heat building on the grill. This will overcook the beef and make it dry and not very appealing.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Steak – I use steak and large cuts of beef interchangeably for some recipes. For this dish, you need two pounds of beef cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
- Bell Peppers – Any colour will do. Cut them into 1 inch pieces.
- Red Onion – Just like the bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Olive Oil – Once again, the olive oil will pull the flavour out of the other ingredients and infuse them into the beef. In addition, you won’t need to grease or oil your cooking vessel when you’re ready to grill, fry, or sear! Use a light olive oil, rather than a full-bodied olive oil.
- Soy Sauce – As a rule, we use low-sodium soy sauce. You can use regular soy sauce too, but if you do, cut back the salt to just a 1/4 teaspoon.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This stuff is like a miracle worker when it comes to imparting flavour. Use it often to get really good results in most of your savoury dishes.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is best. You will get more flavour.
- Thyme – A teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves is all you need.
- Italian Seasoning – There are many differing Italian seasoning blends out there. Use the one you’re most comfortable with. I have a great homemade Italian Seasoning Blend if you want to make up your own.
- Ground Black Pepper – Lots of it! Beef dishes love to be generously seasoned with this warming spice.
- Salt – Remember to cut back on the amount of salt by half if you’re using regular versus low-sodium soy sauce.
Here is how I rounded out a complete meal with this Grilled Pepper Steak. With the skewers, we already have steak for the main and the peppers and onions make a good vegetable side. But, you will need more than that. These are perfect when paired with baked potatoes. Twice Baked Potatoes are an even better option!
I would also consider serving these with rice. I think a bed of just plain rice with a couple of skewers laid across the top would make a lovely meal! Place a couple of grilled vegetables on the side, such as zucchini or mushrooms, and you’re all set!
Grilled Pepper Steak
- 2 pounds steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 whole bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 whole red onion cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Measure all of the marinade ingredients into a mason jar and shake well to mix.
- Place prepared steak into a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the marinade over the beef, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. Do not exceed 24 hours.
- Once the beef has marinated, remove it from the fridge. Add the prepared bell peppers and onions to the beef. Toss to coat and combine.
- Now it’s time to assemble the skewers. Do not pack the skewers too tightly. Alternate with a piece of beef followed by onion and bell peppers. Discard any remaining marinade.
- Preheat grill to 450-500 degrees F. Rub the cooking grates with oil. Place skewers onto grates and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for medium well.
- Remove skewers from grill and serve immediately.