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
Weeknight Pepper Steak
- 2 lbs Trimmed Tri Tip or Top Sirloin Steak
- 1/2 Cup Red Wine
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Green Onion Tops For Garnish
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tsp Granulated Onion
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1/2 Tbsp Pepper
- Begin by preparing all your ingredients ahead. Clean and slice Bell Peppers, Onions, and Garlic into large rough slices.
- Heat a large skillet on Medium.
- Trim away any excess fat from the tri tip roast or steaks. Then cut into 2" x 1/4" pieces. Season your steak with Granulated Garlic, Onion, Salt and Pepper. Then coat steak in flour.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oils to your pan. Add floured beef to the pan, and let sear on all sides. The key to browning meat in the pan is to allow each side to brown before turning. The steak is ready to turn when it comes away from the pan freely. Once all sides are brown, remove the steak to a plate and set it aside.
- Add Bell Peppers, Onions, and Garlic to the pan. Drizzle the remaining tsp olive oil over vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions begin to soften.
- Add the red wine. Deglaze the pan. When the wine hits the hot pan, the liquid should help release any stuck on bits of meat or vegetables. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape all of those bits off of the bottom of the pan.
- Bring the wine to a simmer and turn the heat down to medium/low.
- Add beef back to the pan. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on your liquids to make sure that they don't all cook away. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to let the liquids thicken and turn into a nice pan gravy. You should be left with soft veggies, tender meat, and a pan gravy that should coat the back of a spoon.
- Garnish with some fresh parsley or green onions.
- Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.