Dinner is made simple with this easy recipe for pepper steak. Tender beef strips cooked with peppers, onions, and tomatoes can be made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
I make this for dinner quite a bit! Andy loves it and it takes me less than 10 minutes to get everything in a pot and start simmering it on the stovetop.
I can even throw it into my slow cooker if I want to. It’s an economical way to serve beef for dinner too because you can use a cheaper cut and still have fork-tender meat.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Beef – This recipe doesn’t use steak, it’s just the name given to this dish. It’s really pepper beef. You can use sirloin steak pieces if you wanted to, but it does fine with less tender and cheaper cuts. I generally use a sirloin roast but have been known to use chuck roast too. It will be fine.
Bell Peppers – You can use any color. Red, yellow, and orange are a touch sweeter than green. I usually use a combination of whichever peppers I have or what’s on sale.
Petite Diced Tomatoes – I use the small diced tomatoes because Andy really doesn’t like big chunks of them in anything. You can use regular diced, whole, or even stewed tomatoes. Just break them up a bit.
Beef Broth – I use canned condensed beef broth for convenience. Beef consomme also works great here. You can certainly use homemade, just reduce it until it is about double strength and use 1 cup. Alternately, 1 cup of beef bouillon can be used.
- Cut the beef into 3-inch strips that are about 1 1/2-inch X 1 1/2-inch. (Photo 1)
- Remove the skin from the onion and slice into strips.
- Remove the core and seeds from the peppers and slice into strips.
- Add the oil to a large pan that has a lid and heat until the oil starts to shimmer a bit. You want the meat to sizzle when you put it into the oil.
- Carefully add the beef strips to the pan. Try not to overcrowd the pan because you want to brown the meat rather than steam it. You may need to do this in 2 batches if your roast is large or your pan is on the smaller side. (Photo 2)
- Add the onions, tomatoes, beef broth, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic powder to the pan and stir to combine everything well. Reserve the peppers until the meat is almost tender to prevent over-softening. (Photo 3)
- Allow the liquid to come to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow simmer.
- Cover with the lid and continue simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is beginning to get tender.
- Remove the lid and add the peppers, stir to make sure they are in the liquid. (Photo 4)
- Cook, uncovered. until the beef is fork-tender and the peppers are cooked. For firmer peppers, only cook them for about 10 to 15 minutes. Additional onion can be added with the peppers if desired.
- Make a slurry by combining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add the pan and cook until the liquid is slightly thickened.
- Serve with rice or noodles for a complete dinner.
Chuck roast or sirloin steak can be used as a substitute for the sirloin roast.
Any color of bell peppers, including a combination, can be used.
For firmer peppers, add during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
For larger onion pieces in the finished dish, add another 1/2 of a large onion while adding the bell peppers.
Any 14.5 can of tomatoes can be used. Break them up a bit if you don’t want large pieces. I would avoid any with seasoning added though to prevent a clash of flavors.
Condensed beef consommé or reduced homemade broth can be used instead of beef broth. 1 bouillon cube dissolved in a cup of hot water can also be used as a substitute.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Brown the beef in the oil using a skillet prior to placing it into the slow cooker.
- Add the beef, and everything except peppers to the slow cooker and stir to combine the cornstarch well.
- Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low for 7 to hours.
- Add the peppers and additional onions if using during the last hour of cooking.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Leftovers can be microwaved using a microwave-safe dish or plate for 2 to 3 minutes. Stop and stir about halfway through the cooking time. You might want to cover the plate with a paper towel to prevent splatters.
You can also reheat pepper steak on the stovetop using a medium-low heat and heating through.
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- Cut the sirloin roast into 1/2-inch by 3-inch strips.
- Slice the onion into slices.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers and slice into 1/2-inch wide strips and set aside until near the end of cooking.
- Add the oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the cut beef strips to the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally until all sides are browned. You may need to do this in 2 batches if your roast was large or your pan is small.
- Add the sliced onions, tomatoes, beef broth, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic powder to the pan and stir to combine.
- Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the liquid is bubbling.
- Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is nearly tender.
- Add the sliced bell peppers and continue cooking until the beef is tender, about another 30 minutes.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add the pan and cook until the liquid is slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and serve over rice or noodles.
- Chuck roast can be used as a substitute.
- Any color of bell peppers can be used. Red, yellow, and orange are a bit sweeter than green.
- For firmer peppers, add during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Petite diced tomatoes can be replaced with a 14.5 ounce can of stewed tomatoes. Break them up a bit if you don’t want large pieces.
- Condensed beef consommé can be used instead of beef broth.
1 bouillon cube dissolved in a cup of hot water can also be used as a substitute.
- To make in a slow cooker or Crockpot; for the best flavor, brown the beef in the oil using a skillet prior to placing into the slow cooker. Add the beef, and everything except peppers to the slow cooker and stir to combine the cornstarch well. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low for 7 to hours, adding the peppers during the last hour of cooking.