Monday, March 10, 2008

Pepper Steak

The first time I made this it did not go well. For some reason, I got it into my head that the steak had to be cut into thin fajita-style strips. Steak flavor was okay, but not what I'd expected. I also didn't have my saute pan to help me out, so the skillet was filled to the rim with liquid and veggies. All in all, it was a messy experience.

I first dug this recipe out of my handy dandy church cookbook. I've played with it a few times, and I'm still tinkering with it to make it my own. Next time I'm considering eliminating the water completely, or at least mixing it with beef stock to flavor up the meat.

It's been a hit with Graham both times, but I'm still on the fence about it. It's not terrible, but not up to the standards I've set for myself.

Pepper Steak

1 & 1/2 lb sirloin steak
1 T. Canola oil
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 can tomatoes, diced
3 c. cold water
1 sm. can mushrooms
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips

Brown the meat in oil. Add celery, garlic, onion, soy sauce, salt, pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and 2 & 1/2 cups water. Cook for 1 hour. Add green pepper and another 1/2 cup water and summer an additional 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Notes:
  • I used one steak for this and cut it into two thinner steaks for Graham and I to share. It saved us a bit of money and we wouldn't have eaten another steak.
  • Again, I left out the mushrooms. I would have eaten around them.
  • Instead of canola oil, I used olive oil, just as a test. I think it worked well, and I didn't notice a huge difference in the taste.
  • Out of curiousity, I tried Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce. Last time I didn't notice the soy sauce at all, and it bothers me when I make dinner and can't taste an ingredient. It definitely enhanced the flavor this time around, and I could taste the difference in my steak.
  • Next time, I'm leaving out the tomatoes, or adding them at the last minute. They didnt' add much, and they turned to mush in the pan. They absorbed the pepper and sauce, but the really were a pain to cook with.
  • Like I said before, I'm either cutting out the water, or cutting it down to 1 cup and mixing it with beef stock. This time I brought the water down to 2.5 cups, if that, and it was still too much. I felt like I was trying to eat soup! I like a little broth, but it's just too much.
  • I also need to remember to treat my steak with a meat tenderizer before I brown it. I think it will help tremendously.
  • Finally, we ate it with rice tonight, but it goes really well with any starch. Last time we made it with baked potatoes and it rounded out well.

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