The Origins of Murphy Style Steak ?

The origins of Murphy Style Steak seem to be a little confusing, with some variations on a theme.

I’ve googled for the origins of the term, but I don’t find this in wide use in the US or Ireland.

I’ve also posted this also in the NJ thowback thread, but I’m curious if this is used anywhere else other than in New Jersey. At various places around here it seems that a 24oz delmonico (rib eye) and fried potatoes are involved.

In some places it comes with peppers and onions. At others there are just a couple of pickled cherry peppers on the plate and the potatoes are sauteed with paprika and onion.

Finally, another place around here has a Steak Murphy on the menu which involves tomato sauce in addition to onions, peppers, and potatoes:

Online recipes for Steak Murphy, on the other hand, seems to involve lots of garlic and not much else:

Looking, however, for the closest Murphy’s Steak House only turns up places in New Hampshire & Oklahoma:

Finally, as far as I can tell, it seems “Murphy Style” is not related to “Murphy’s Law” in any discernible way:

All of the foregoing raises a number of perplexing questions, which I am going to throw open to the HO brain trust:

Who was the original effing Murphy, and where the farouck did they live?

Is it possible “Murphy Style” is a Jersey original? (No jokes please about doggy style).

Anybody seen this on a menu anywhere else in the country?

If there was an original Murphy’s Steak House, did they go out of business?

Why is this usually a 24oz Delmonico with fried potatoes? Is the cut part of the “Murphy”?

I get the steak and potatoes (Irish), but how did the peppers get into it?

Also, what kind of peppers, if any, are genuine to a Murphy style steak?

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I grew up in the NY Metro and have never heard of Murphy steak. I have a very broad level of acceptance for whatever people find appetizing, but my initial reaction is that this is a rather ‘unkind’ thing to do with a decent piece of beef… but… whatever. Looks like something that could be called steak pizzaiola. JMHO obviously. Happy New Year!


Tomato sauce appears to be an aberration.

Mainly seems to involve 24oz Delmonico (rib eye) and fried potatoes, with onions and perhaps peppers.

Love this observation!

Kansas City native here. Steak country.
I’ve never heard the term. Lots of Irish in KC but most of the steakhouses tend Italian. I love grilled onions but the tomato sauce would be a no go.
I don’t think I could come close to finishing a 24 oz. Steak.
A horseshoe from Springfield would seem to fill a similar niche. After all, who doesn’t like gravy onions and potatoes?

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HO won’t let me swipe a quote line from your initial post, VK, so I’ll just add my thought here…

My perception of the ethnic Irish is that they, as a people, are not robust consumers of beef. The only Irish Stew served in my house as I grew up was Mutton-based. Chicken was the foundation protein for our dinners; with pork a very distant second choice. Beef only started to show on family menus when my Dad bought himself a charcoal grill because he wanted to become a Griller Of Things. By that time, I was in my middle-teen years.

Saying that to say this: “Murphy Style” Steak might have been devised by a guy / gal named Murphy. And as it’s “fame” spread, knock-offs and variations on a theme, occurred.

Yeah I’ve been to Ireland more than a few times and talked to the locals.

Corn beef and cabbage is pretty much unknown over there.

They make coddle, which is Irish bacon, sausages, and potatoes boiled together. Or irish bacon (smoked loin) and cabbage boiled dinner. Colcannon (mashed potatoes and kale) with sausages. So lots of boiled porky bits, but not corned beef.

Irish stew is usually lamb with potatoes and onions only. It’s ubiquitous. Literally everywhere. I’ve never seen it over there with carrots. Or beef. And not Guinness.

Cockaleekie soup is also pretty common, especially in the north, but other than that I don’t recall a lot of chicken.

And again, no corned beef.

So you have to assume that corned beef and cabbage is an American thing. Briskets used to be cheap, and were most often pickled in the days before refrigeration, which I’m guessing is how this got started.

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The only place I have ever seen Steak Murphy was an Italian restaurant located in Bound Brook NJ on rte 28, don’t remember the name. That was about 20 years ago. Great rib eye steak smothered with onion, sweet and hot cherry peppers and potatoes. Yummy!!