When my sister and I were growing up, my mom always joked she was going to open a restaurant called “I don’t care,” thanks to the number of times we uttered the phrase when the family was choosing where to eat.
On the occasions when we did care, there were certain places that turned into a bit of a debate for us in the back seat.
I, for one, loved going to a good Chinese buffet. My sister, not so much.
On the rare occasions I would convince her that, yes, she would find plenty to eat that suited her tastes, one of my favorite food items to grab was some peppered beef. The combination of steak with sauteed peppers and onions was (and still is) one of my favorites.
I was reminded of those trips this week when I decided to try making some peppered beef in my own kitchen, and I have to say that it turned out great.
This comes from the blog “Kitchen Sanctuary” by Nicky Corbishley. You can find the original post at https://www.kitchensanctuary.com/black-pepper-beef/. I added extra garlic to my version.
- 1 pound steak sliced thinly (I used charcoal steak)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper or more, to taste
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons oil I used canola
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 large onion cut into quarter-inch strips
- 2 large bell peppers cut into quarter-inch strips (any color)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup beef stock or broth
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- rice for serving
- Season the sliced steak with the black pepper and salt.
- In a wok or deep frying pan, heat the canola and sesame oils over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the steak and fry for a couple minutes, until it is browned, stirring constantly.
- Remove the steak from the pan and turn the heat to medium. If there isn’t much oil left in the pan, add another tablespoon of canola oil and toss in the onions and peppers.
- Saute for several minutes until they reach your desired level of tenderness.
- While the vegetables cook, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, fish/oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, beef stock and more black pepper (to taste) in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Once your vegetables are cooked through, add the garlic and ginger to the pan and saute for about two minutes.
- Add the sauce from the bowl, along with the steak (and any accumulated juices) to the pan, and stir to coat the vegetables and meat with the sauce. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for another couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and everything is heated through.
- Serve over rice.
Joey raved about how good this meal was all during dinner. It was peppery without being overly spicy, and the sauce was fantastic. I ended up doubling the recipe for plenty of leftovers later in the week, which was a great move. Who doesn’t like leftover Chinese food?
Actually, I can tell you one person who isn’t a fan of Chinese food—fresh or left over. Or at least that was true. After we were both adults, my sister and I were spending an afternoon together, and when it came time for us to decide what to grab for lunch, she suggested a nearby Chinese restaurant.
“I thought you hated Chinese food?!” I told her, remembering all of our backseat battles.
She just shrugged.
“I guess I got over it,” she said.
Sisters…am I right?
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 20, 2022.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.