Recipe: Bar Isabel chef Grant van Gameren’s grilled steak with shishito peppers

Recipe: Bar Isabel chef Grant van Gameren’s grilled steak with shishito peppers

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe: Steak with Shishito Peppers
STEAK WITH SHISHITO PEPPERS
By Grant van Gameren
Bar Isabel
STEAK WITH SHISHITO PEPPERS
By Grant van Gameren
Bar Isabel

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 minutes
GRILL TIME: 4 minutes
REFRIGERATION TIME: 1 day
Serves 4 to 6


STEAK

1 ½ tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground cumin
4 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
12 garlic cloves
3 tbsp smoked paprika
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 ¼ lb hanger steak
2-3 pinches kosher salt

SHISHITO PEPPERS

½ lb shishito peppers
1 tbsp canola oil
2-3 pinches Maldon salt


1. Grind thyme, cumin, bay leaves and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle until powdery. Add garlic cloves. Gently pound into a paste. Stir in paprika to mix. Scrape into a bowl. Whisk in oil and vinegar.

2. Trim excess fat and sinew from steak. Cut into 1 ½-inch cubes. Place in a bowl or container. Pour about half the marinade overtop—enough to coat the meat—but set some aside for basting. Cover and refrigerate marinated steak and leftover marinade for 1 to 3 days.

3. When ready to cook, oil grill and preheat barbecue to high. Skewer steak cubes. Sprinkle with salt. Oil grill and barbecue skewers for 1 to 4 minutes per side until cooked to your liking. During the last 30 seconds of grilling, brush leftover marinade on meat. Cover loosely and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, set a cast iron pan over high heat. When very hot, add peppers. Cook for 1 minute, tossing once. Carefully add oil. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until peppers are blistered and slightly charred but still al dente. Turn into a bowl. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Toss to coat. Serve peppers over steak skewers.


Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe: Steak with Shishito Peppers
Shishitos are the Japanese equivalent of Spanish padrón peppers. They’re hard to come by in Toronto, but you can usually find them at Asian grocery stores, like PAT Market. 675 Bloor St. W., 416-532-2961


Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe: Steak with Shishito Peppers
GRANT VAN GAMEREN
BAR ISABEL

Grant van Gameren has a knack for knowing exactly what diners crave. In 2008, the self-taught chef opened the Black Hoof, a scruffy charcuterie bar on Dundas West. He drew queues down the block, cooking nose-to-tail dishes on just one decrepit electric stove, and slicing venison bresaola and pork belly pastrami behind the bar. Five years on, those same fans are lining up at Bar Isabel, the College Street tavern where van Gameren’s cured meats share table space with simple Iberian snacks, like these grilled steak skewers with blistered shishito peppers. Shishitos, which have popped up all over Toronto menus this year, are generally mild, but one in every 10 is burn-your-face-off hot. That’s half the fun of eating them.


Recipes developed by Victoria Walsh. Recipe photography by Ryan Szulc. Illustrations by Aleksandar Janicijevic. Interviews by Meaghan Binstock, Chantal Braganza, Matthew Hague, Peter Saltsman, Courtney Shea and Caroline Youdan.