Holiday Recipe Exchange 2011: [Slow Cooker] Pepper Steak

In an ideal world, I would have all the fancy kitchen and baking equipment that could rival any celebrity chef’s kitchen. I would have a spacious but minimalist kitchen with a big work counter/island in the middle. I would also have a large gas (yes, I’d still prefer gas over electric) range that could fit six pots in one go. And oh, I’d have an oven big enough for two or maybe three? 12-cup muffin pans in one layer. And let’s not forget that shiny dishwasher that would help make cleaning up a breeze. Oh, the life!

How I wish I have all that and more. In the real world, I don’t have any of those. I live in an apartment big enough for two people. My kitchen is cramped with the dish rack, cooking utensils, my small oven, the gas stove, you get the picture. My cupboard has the same dilemma. Aside from space issues, I have an unending “want-to-buy” list:  a “real” food processor (I only have a trusty blender at my perusal), a bigger oven (mine can only fit 6-cup muffin pan or a small cookie sheet), an ice cream maker, and a KitchenAid stand mixer. I thought that’s everything I could ever want in the cooking and baking department… I thought wrong.

When I joined Jamie and Katie’s Holiday Recipe Exchange, I knew I’d come across some issues. This week, for example, we are featuring slow cooker or crock pot recipes. I didn’t have a crock pot, but I do have a recipe I wanted to try. Hmm, what should a poor girl do, then? Improvise, I thought to myself. I browsed some sites and most of them said cooking or baking in a dutch oven could do the trick. But… I didn’t have a dutch oven! Just when I was about to give up, I thought of using the pot I normally use for cooking rice. It looks like this:

We call that “kaldero” in Filipino. I think it’s derived from the English word cauldron, and it’s usually made of metal, aluminum or stainless steel.

I guess using the kaldero paid off well. My beef came out very tender and the flavors married fairly well. If it’s already this tasty, what more if I used a crock pot? The answer would have to wait until I get my own… but till then, I’ll have to make do with what I have.


Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
Adapted from All Recipes 

500g sirloin beef, cut in 2-in strips
2-3 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 beef cube
1/2 cup hot water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped onions, I used red and white
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into strips
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper 

Wash beef and drain any excess liquid. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil and brown seasoned beef strips. Transfer to a slow cooker. 

Mix beef cube with hot water, stir until dissolved. Stir in cornstarch. Pour into slow cooker. Stir in onions, tomatoes, sugar, soy sauce, salt and pepper. 

Cover and cook for 3-4 hours (high) or 6-8 hours (low). Since I was improvising, I cooked the beef on very low heat for about 4-5 hours, being careful not to dry up the liquid. 

Just before serving, add in bell peppers and simmer for 5-10 more minutes.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap West Bend.

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