A great love of my life—besides my husband, of course—is Chinese food. I could eat Chinese food every day, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cold or hot. It doesn’t matter what season. I even love those cute white containers the food comes in. They are like little presents of deliciousness, just waiting to be opened. That being said, I have been trying for a while to concoct a pepper steak that lives up to my greatest Chinese food fantasies, and I think I have finally done it—or at least gotten pretty darn close!
I first started making pepper steak with my good old Betty Crocker cookbook recipe several years ago. However, as much as I love Betty, I was a bit disappointed that it never tasted the way restaurant pepper steak does. There was something missing. So I’ve adapted that original recipe over the years, and this is what I have come up with:
Prep Time: Almost none if using pre-cut meat and frozen vegetables to about 15 minutes if you have to cut the meat and vegetables yourself.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1 lb. beef top round or sirloin steak, cut into strips (I buy the “stir fry” beef already cut up so it’s less work for me)
- 3 T vegetable oil
- pepper, to taste (I use about 2 teaspoons)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1.5 T finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 T cornstarch or flour
- 3 t sugar
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bag frozen bells peppers and onion (about 2 cups fresh bell peppers and white onion, cut into ½ inch strips)
- 4 servings instant rice (I believe this is about 4 cups cooked, according to instant rice packages)
First, I like to start the rice so I can get it out of the way. Cook per instructions and leave covered on stove when it’s finished to stay warm while you complete the rest of this recipe. In the meantime, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (I use my trusted cast iron), add the salt and pepper to the meat, and cook, over medium heat until brown. Note: If you are not using the pre-cut stir fry meat, you will need to trim the fat and cut the meat into strips yourself.
When the meat is done cooking, add the broth, garlic, and ginger and mix well. Note: If you are not using the frozen pepper and onion mix, you will want to add your fresh peppers and onion to the mixture now so it has more time to cook. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the beef gets tender.
While the mixture heats, put the flour, soy sauce, sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a Tupperware container and shake it well until mixed. It should be a somewhat cloudy brown mixture with no clumps. Add the mixture to the meat and mix well with a wooden spoon or fork.