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.
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Here is how I made the Pepper Steak in the slow cooker.
Pepper Steak in the 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.
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.
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.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? Well, that’s what caramelization looks like. It’s ready to turn over and brown the other side.
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.
Now I have lots of delicious goodness left in the pan to add to the remaining ingredients. So yummy!
Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the chopped onions.
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.
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.
Add the garlic to the onions and tamari sauce.
Then add the sugar.
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.
Add grated ginger to the pan.
Then put in a can of diced tomatoes. I really like the fire roasted tomatoes in this dish.
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.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Transfer to the slow cooker on top of the meat.
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.
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