Pepper Steak in the slow cooker

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

One of our dear friends had a birthday this weekend and I wanted to fix her a birthday dinner to make her feel as special as she is.  She is a regular at our house and she lets me try out new dishes on her.  So, I asked her if she had a request for her dinner and she said, “Something beef”.  After lots of debates inside my head, I decided on this flavorful beef dish.  Pepper Steak in the slow cooker.  It’s easy and I can do it earlier in the day and forget about it until time to eat.  That gives me time to make the Pineapple Orange Carrots, steamed white rice, green beans and for desert I fixed individual Apple Crisp in ramekins with dulce de leche.

For a little gift, I embroidered a hand towel with a Bichon Frise silhouette to represent her very own named “Cricket” and made some homemade Bath Salts.

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Here is how I made the Pepper Steak in the slow cooker.

Pepper Steak in the slow cooker

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

I started out with 2 pounds of sirloin beef cut into 2 inch pieces.  You can use sirloin steak or roast.  I happened to have a sirloin roast in the freezer and used that.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, place the beef pieces in the skillet.  Don’t crowd the meat or they won’t brown properly.  You may need to do them in batches.  Cook for about 3 minutes on medium-high heat.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

With kitchen tongs, check to see if the meat is ready to turn over.  If the pieces don’t come up fairly easy, it’s not ready to turn.  You also want to look for caramelization.  See next picture.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Doesn’t that look scrumptious?  Well, that’s what caramelization looks like.  It’s ready to turn over and brown the other side.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

I don’t find it necessary to brown all sides because I do want to keep the beef tender.  So, just turn it once to brown the other side.  Keeping it quick and simple.  After the second side is browned and caramelized, transfer the meat to the slow cooker.  Repeat this process until all of the meat is done.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Now I have lots of delicious goodness left in the pan to add to the remaining ingredients.  So yummy!

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the chopped onions.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Saute’ the onions until they are tender and somewhat translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  If the pan is a bit dry, add a Tablespoon of oil to help cook the onions.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Add the tamari or soy sauce.  Bring it to a simmer and scrape the pan to loosen the drippings from the bottom of the pan.

So, what is the difference between soy sauce and tamari sauce?  Here’s the short answer.  Soy sauce is made from soy beans, some kind of wheat, water and salt.  Tamari is made from soy beans, water and salt which makes it gluten free.  If you’re on a gluten free diet, you should always use tamari sauce.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Add the garlic to the onions and tamari sauce.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Then add the sugar.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

And pepper.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

I love fresh ginger and I feel it makes all the difference in the world in dishes as oppose to the powdered version.  It keeps well in the refrigerator for weeks.  I typically buy a good size root and keep in a zip top baggie with a folded paper towel inside.  The paper towel absorbs excess moisture and helps prevent rotting.  It’s a staple in my refrigerator.  Just keep it in the vegetable crisp drawer.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Add grated ginger to the pan.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Then put in a can of diced tomatoes.  I really like the fire roasted tomatoes in this dish.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Chop a little more than half of the bell pepper and slice the rest.

Add the chopped bell pepper to the pan reserving the sliced for later.  Any color will do fine.  I just happened to have green peppers from my garden and chopped those.  I also had a colored pepper that I sliced and I’m saving those for the last few minutes of cooking time.

I like to put in the chopped peppers now so they can cook into the sauce for flavor, then add sliced pieces at the end so they’re hot but still crisp.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Transfer to the slow cooker on top of the meat.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

Stir to combine.

Cover with the lid and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours.  During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the remaining sliced bell pepper.

Now I can focus on the rest of the meal and prepare for guests!  So simple.  I love slow cooker recipes!  Another main dish I do in the slow cooker is Jambalaya.  This dish can cook all day while you’re at work.  All I have to do when I get home is make the rice.

Pepper Steak in Slow Cooker

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Here is a printer friendly recipe.

Pepper Steak in the slow cooker

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Yield: 6

Pepper Steak in the slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef sirloin steak or roast
  • 2 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 - 15 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes with the liquid
  • 2 bell peppers any color
  • cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Chop a little over half of the bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces and slice the rest. Set aside.
  2. Cut meat into 2 inch pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Place the meat in the skillet so not to crowd the pieces. Brown the first side 3-4 minutes then turn with kitchen tongs to brown the other side. Transfer the meat to your slow cooker. Repeat this process until all of the meat is completed.
  5. To the remaining drippings, add the chopped onion and saute' for 3-4 minutes until they are tender and somewhat translucent.
  6. Add the tamari sauce to the pan and simmer 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the drippings.
  7. Add the sugar, black pepper, ginger, tomatoes and chopped peppers.
  8. Bring to a boil and transfer to the slow cooker over the meat. Stir to combine.
  9. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the meat is tender.
  10. During the last 10 minutes, add the sliced peppers.
  11. Serve over rice.
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