This Easy Pepper Steak Recipe with tender steak, bright Italian peppers, and a rich pan gravy is just the thing you need to warm up on a cold winter’s night. On the table in under an hour, you can get your fill of comfort any night of the week.
Browning the Pepper Steak is so Important!
To make this dish correctly, you really need to have well browned steak pieces. This comes up so frequently in my recipe instructions, because having well browned meat is the difference between having a really delicious simmered steak in pan gravy or having gray, boiled beef. We really don’t want gray, boiled beef.
Well browned me is appetizing to look at, and it will be more tender and more moist. It is hard to imagine drying out a piece of meat that is cooking in liquid, but it is possible. If you don’t have a good sear to seal the outside of the steak, the beef will lose all of it’s natural juices in the pan, dry out, and toughen up.
Perfectly Browning the Pepper Steak!
The best way to ensure well browned meat is to take the time to prepare it properly. Start by heating your pan before the steak is ready to cook. Then cut the steak into wider flatter pieces. This will give you more surface area directly on the hot pan. Season and lightly coat with flour. The flour will help seal in juices, and what is left in the pan will thicken the pan gravy.
Once the steak is prepared and the pan is hot, drizzle a little olive oil around the pan and let the oil heat up. You can drop a little flour in the pan to check the temperature. If you get a gentle sizzle, the pan is ready. If the oil is sputtering or popping it is too hot. If nothing happens, just be patient.
Put the steak in the hot pan and spread it around so that all of the steak is making contact with the pan. Now the next part is critical. Don’t touch it! Give it a few minutes really sear and develop color. After a few minutes, check a piece or two and see how it looks. If you have nice browning and the steak pieces come away from the pan without sticking, then it is ready to turn. Do the same thing to the other side of the pieces. You can turn with tongs or gently stir to get color all around. Then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
And now for the hard part! Just kidding! There is no hard part.
Once your take the steak out of the pan. Add sliced peppers, onions, and garlic cloves to the pan. Lightly saute until the onions and pepper soften. This is not a full saute, everything will still have a little crunch at this point.
And Now The Wine!!
Deglaze the pan with the red wine. That is a fancy word for use the wine and wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add your steak back to the pan. Cover, and simmer on medium/low for 25 minutes. Cook 5-10 minutes more with the lid off to let out the excess moisture, and let your liquid become a pan gravy.
“The only time to eat diet foodies while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” Julia Child