Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hustle and Bustle

'Tis the season for hustle and bustle. We rush from store to store, program to pageant, party to party and barely have time to catch our breath in between. We purchase gifts, bake cookies, send off cards, tie bows, hang lights, sing carols, and hope there is a chance for a mug of egg nog at the end.

When is there time for everyday things like dinner? Are you throwing frozen pizzas in the oven, whipping through the drive-thru, and calling a mix of cookies, fudge, and a handful of party mix a balanced meal? How about a home-cooked meal in the midst of the holiday craziness? How about Crock Pot Pepper Steak? Yes. I did just say "crock pot." I will admit that I don't use mine very often, but when I do pull it out of storage, I am always grateful for that warm meal that is ready and waiting to hit the table.

Crock Pot Pepper Steak first hit my radar back when I was planning my infamous suicide attempt Chinese buffet style birthday party for the hubs. I created 3 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 main dishes, egg rolls, steamed and fried rice, sesame green beans, fortune cookies, and cake all in one day and served that same night from my lowly, little home kitchen. For 20+ people. With real plates and flatware. Without a dishwasher. I just about died. Really.

Finding a simple, flavorful, and not mushy or overcooked crock pot recipe for Pepper Steak was a lifesaver for me during the hustle and bustle of that birthday celebration, and with a big thumbs up from Hubs, it has saved me during several other busy times since. This holiday season there might not yet be time to put my feet up, but Crock Pot Pepper Steak does make it easy to put a delicious, home-cooked meal On My Plate.

2 pounds boneless round steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons flour
2-4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned

Slice steak into julienned strips.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet. (Make sure it is large enough not to overcrowd the meat...you want it to brown, not steam.)
Add the steak to the hot oil with the garlic and red pepper flakes; saute until lightly browned.
Transfer to a large crock pot.
Combine flour and tomato paste with the beef broth and pour over the steak.
Add the Teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar; stir well.
Cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
Reduce heat to LOW; add the onion and peppers; cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
Serve over rice. (Serves 4-6)

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