Sometimes, it’s easy to feel like an author has you in mind when you read a passage in a book. For me, those passages usually involve food.
In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a common Transylvanian dish is robber steak: grilled beef kabobs with bacon, red pepper, and onions. How could I pass up a dish so perfectly tailored for someone like me, looking to include stakes in a vampire-themed Halloween menu? It’s also the perfect entree to accompany our spider chips and salsa!
There are lots of recipes for robber steak out there. To make the dish my own, I swapped regular onions for pearl onions, added green pepper for color, and treated the kabobs with a dry rub composed of my own special blend of spices. For the ultimate Dracula experience, enjoy with a generous glass of Golden Mediasch!
Robber “Stakes”: An Alison’s Wonderland Original Recipe©
“I dined on what they called ‘robber steak’—bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red pepper, and strung on sticks, and roasted over the fire, in simple style of the London cat’s meat! The wine was Golden Mediasch, which produces a queer sting on the tongue, which is, however, not disagreeable.”
- 1 10.5 oz sirloin tip steak
- 5 strips thick cut bacon
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 10 white pearl onions
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- your favorite dry rub (I used my own recipe: 2 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp ground mustard, and 3/4 tsp salt)
- some kabob skewers (if you use wooden ones, remember to soak them before use)
- Makes 5 kabobs
- Begin by cubing your steak and peppers. Then peel your onions and cut them in half.
Be sure to keep the pieces pretty big, so they don’t split down the middle when you slide them on the skewer.
- To assemble the kabobs, take one skewer and push a piece of green pepper about an inch down onto the stick. Next, push the end of a strip of bacon onto the skewer. Add an onion, a red pepper piece, and a second onion. Push everything down further on the skewer a little bit to make room, fold the bacon over the top of the second onion, and skewer that part of the bacon into place. Add a piece of steak, and skewer another fold of bacon over that as well. Repeat the process until you have used 4 pepper pieces, 4 onion halves, and 2 steak cubes. The bacon should be threaded through the other ingredients in a wave pattern. Use this same process to assemble the four remaining kabobs.
Starting with a pepper keeps the bacon from sliding off.
- Brush each kabob with olive oil and lightly dust or rub the dry rub onto the meat and vegetables. Don’t worry about getting seasoning in every nook and cranny. Since these are bite-size pieces, you want to be careful not to overpower them. We want the natural flavors to shine through!
This was my first time making a dry rub, and it turned out pretty well (maybe just a little too much paprika). I might continue to play with the proportions of the ingredients to get them just right.
- I recommend grilling the kabobs on a George Foreman classic plate grill if you’ve got one (it cooks them a little faster). Place the kabobs on the grill two at a time and allow them to cook for two minutes. Turn them once and allow them to cook for another two minutes.
A regular grill works too. Just allow for a couple extra minutes of cooking time on each side, since you won’t have heat coming from two sides at once. If using wood skewers, make sure they are still very wet before adding them to a gas or charcoal grill.
- All done! Easy right? And they’re just as easy to eat as they are to make. Each component offers something fun and different. The steak is smoky, and the bacon absorbs the spices to take on a unique flavor. The peppers are crisp and fresh, and the onions are sweet and juicy!
I’m a sucker for customizable food, so I also love that you can alter the proportions of the ingredients to suit your taste. The onions were by far my favorite component!
- Serve while traveling the Transylvanian countryside in search of an ancient vampire!