Places to Eat

Our Little Secret: How the Texas Hill Country Does Pepper Steak

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Tony Maples Photography


If you search the internet for ‘pepper steak,’ the most common result is a recipe of sliced steak, cooked with onion, soy sauce, bell peppers, and seasonings, to create a dish that looks a bit like stir fry. This is a delicious meal but not what you’ll find when you order pepper steak in the Texas Hill Country. Some would say even tastier, our pepper steak is simpler and just as filling. Ask a native to the area, and they have their favorite spot.

First, Texas Hill Country-style pepper steak is made by seasoning raw lean ground beef and forming into two patties. Second, put shredded cheese and jalapenos (raw or pickled) in the middle of one patty. Then place the other patty on top of the first patty, crimping the edges together. Next, cook in a frying pan, until all pink is gone. Garish is up to you, some prefer shredded cheese, others grilled onions and serranos; personally, a glob of A.1. Sauce tops off the flavors of pepper steak just right!

Our Little Secret: How the Texas Hill Country Does Pepper Steak

Photo: envato elements

Of course, several restaurants serve this dish to very happy customers. Hermann Sons in Hondo is the self-proclaimed home of pepper steak. Sadly, this spot is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but follow Hermann Sons on Facebook for reopening dates. Lost Maples Café in Utopia calls theirs a ‘Cheese Pepper Steak.’ Visit this quaint town and try this eatery any day of the week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Concan’s staple is Neal’s Dining Room, which features a pepper steak stuffed with melted cheese and serrano peppers. They are offering dine-in service, as well as curbside. If you are curious about this delicacy of the Texas Hill Country, take a drive and support local business!

Have you tasted this Texas treat? Try and tell us how it turned out!