Pepper Steak Unleashed!

Pepper steak.  Two words that often fill me with dread when I am eating out.  I am not trying to be insulting, but most of my experience in restaurants or at other people’s homes have been with a bland, flour and ketchup flavored mystery stew of some kind; slivers of green pepper and onion mocking me with their ability to surrender all flavor, defying all logic.

Of course, the truth is that my mother ruined all other Pepper Steak for me with the following recipe.  Other kids, when asked what they would like for their birthday dinners, usually request pizza, cheeseburgers, etc.  Me?  My go-to meal was always Pepper Steak…well, Mongolian Hot Pot first, then Pepper Steak (we’ll get to Mongolian Hot Pot another day and you will thank me).

I was lucky enough to travel the world with my parents throughout my childhood.  As Peace Corps volunteers first, and then following my father, a biologist, chemist, wildlife specialist and world leader in his field, we scoured the globe to eliminate diseases in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines, Africa and Bangladesh (he’s still at it today in his late 60’s and is, in fact, in India as I write this). We lived in, and visited, some of the most amazing places on Earth.  My mother, like me, loved to learn new cultural cuisine, and I am blessed to have had her pass some of it on to me.  Especially, the following recipe!

In my home, Pepper Steak is in high demand as a comfort food.  We will often use a food processor for the veggies and cut the meat smaller so we can curl up with a bowl and savor it with a spoon.

Today’s recipe (only slightly tweaked, Mom) will be a party in your mouth and tummy.  Enjoy!

The recipe is repeated at the bottom, sans pictures for printing and be sure to check the Notes section.

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Pepper Steak Unleashed

Ingredients

1-1.5 lbs beef, cut into 1 inch strips or cubed (stew meat or your choice steak will work)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 TBSP + 2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, separated (1)

1 tsp +  1 tsp garlic powder, separated (2)

2 tsp + 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, separated

3 TBSP olive or other cooking oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan and prevent burning)

4 cups water

2 yellow onions, sliced thinly or finely chopped

2 bell peppers, sliced thinly or finely chopped

1 cup ketchup (3)

1 cup unsalted tomato sauce (3)

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter  (4)

Package Cous cous, rice or egg noodles, prepared  (5)

Directions

In a large Zip Loc bag or Tupperware container, combine the flour, 1 TBSP Tony’s, 1 tsp of the garlic powder and 2 tsp of the black pepper.  Mix well and add the sliced beef, shaking to coat all the pieces.

In a large pot, fry the dredged meat in oil over medium-high heat until nicely browned, stirring and scraping the bottom of your pot to prevent burning and sticking.  Add extra oil in small drops, if needed.

Peppersteak 7
Browning nicely!

Reduce heat to medium and add the 4 cups of water.  Cook for 30-40 minutes until meat is tender and liquid begins to thicken, stirring often to prevent burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot, adding small amounts of water, if needed.

When meat is tender, add ketchup, tomato sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, onions, peppers, 2 tsp Tony’s, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 1/2 tsp black pepper.

Peppersteak 10.jpg
Almost there!

Cook over medium or medium-low heat, simmering 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and the flavors blend.

Serve over cous cous.

NOTES

(1) Though I’ve never made this without Tony’s, I’m told it can be done and can still be amazing, so give it a try, if you don’t have any.  If you are not adding peanut butter, you are making a mistake…I mean, you don’t need to add the remaining 2 tsp of Tony’s to your gravy, but just add to taste.

(2) Sometimes I will split the garlic powder with garlic salt.  It’s up to you because the soy sauce can kick the saltiness up.  Just remember that you are serving over cous cous or rice, so the flavor will be slightly diluted, so to speak.

(3) I have chosen to alter the original recipe because it calls for all ketchup and this was a little salty.  Again, you’re serving over cous cous, so it shouldn’t make a big difference if you choose not to use tomato sauce.

(4) Adding peanut butter gives the dish a uniquely amazing flavor you will not regret.  A bit of an African flair, if you will.  Leaving it out converts the dish to regular pepper steak, which is still good, but not the party on your taste buds that peanut butter starts.  Remember this is a dish which needs to cook for a while for the flavors to marry in perfection.

(5) Though you can serve this over rice or egg noodles, cous cous is the absolute best, especially when going the peanut butter route.  If you aren’t familiar with cous cous, it is yummy, light, tiny pasta available at most grocery stores, sold in a small box, or a large plastic container.  It is incredibly easy to prepare; just add it to boiled water, remove from heat, cover 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.   Cous cous

 

Peppersteak11
YES!!

***********************************************************************

Pepper Steak Unleashed

Ingredients

1-1.5 lbs beef, cut into 1 inch strips or cubed (stew meat or your choice steak will work)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 TBSP + 2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, separated (1)

1 tsp +  1 tsp garlic powder, separated (2)

2 tsp + 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, separated

3 TBSP olive or other cooking oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan and prevent burning)

4 cups water

2 yellow onions, sliced thinly or finely chopped

2 bell peppers, sliced thinly or finely chopped

1 cup ketchup (3)

1 cup unsalted tomato sauce (3)

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter  (4)

Package Cous cous, rice or egg noodles, prepared  (5)

Directions

In a large Zip Loc bag or Tupperware container, combine the flour, 1 TBSP Tony’s, 1 tsp of the garlic powder and 2 tsp of the black pepper.  Mix well and add the sliced beef, shaking to coat all the pieces.

In a large pot, brown the dredged meat in oil over medium-high heat until nicely browned, stirring and scraping the bottom of your pot to prevent burning and sticking.  Add extra oil in small drops, if needed.

Reduce heat to medium and add the 4 cups of water.  Cook for 30-40 minutes until meat is tender and liquid begins to thicken, stirring often to prevent burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot, adding small amounts of water, if needed.

When meat is tender, add ketchup, tomato sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, onions, peppers, 2 tsp Tony’s, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Cook over medium or medium-low heat, simmering simmering 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and the flavors blend.

Serve over cous cous.

NOTES

(1) Though I’ve never made this without Tony’s, I’m told it can be done and can still be amazing, so give it a try, if you don’t have any.  If you are not adding peanut butter, you are making a mistake, I mean, you don’t need to add the remaining 2 tsp of Tony’s to your gravy, but just add to taste.

(2) Sometimes I will split the garlic powder with garlic salt.  It’s up to you because the soy sauce can kick the saltiness up.  Just remember that you are serving over cous cous or rice, so the flavor will be slightly diluted, so to speak.

(3) I have chosen to alter the original recipe because it calls for all ketchup and this was a little salty.  Again, you’re serving over cous cous, so it shouldn’t make a big difference if you choose not to use tomato sauce.

(4) Adding peanut butter gives the dish a uniquely amazing flavor you will not regret.  A bit of an African flair, if you will.  Leaving it out converts the dish to regular pepper steak, which is still good, but not the party on your taste buds that it starts.  Remember this is a dish which needs to cook for a while for the flavors to marry in perfection.

(5) Though you can serve this over rice or egg noodles, cous cous is the absolute best when going the peanut butter route.  If you aren’t familiar with cous cous, it is yummy, light, tiny pasta available at most grocery stores, sold in a small box, or a large plastic container.  It is incredibly easy to prepare; just add it to boiled water, remove from heat, cover 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Pepper Steak Unleashed!

  1. I make it exactly as the recipe you gave me – I still have your hand-written recipe. I never deviate from it and it never disappoints. I think if you every time I make it. 💗💗💗💗💗

    Like

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