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Pepper Steak Upgrade: Shaved Flank Steak with Sweet Peppers over Pink Peppercorn Rice
I remember a friend’s mom trying to pass off freezer-aisle pepper steak served on one of her best platters. Mine is easy to make—and it’s definitely tastier.
1 ½ lb. flank steak
About 1 tbsp. (a scant palmful) coarsely ground or crushed pink peppercorns
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
3 tbsp. high-heat cooking oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
1 large mild green bell pepper—halved, seeded, and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red field pepper (it looks like a long red bell pepper), cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery (from the heart of the bunch) with leafy tops, thinly sliced on an angle
2 large shallots, halved and sliced lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
About 1/2 cup dry sherry
¼ cup soy sauce or shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
1 rounded tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp. acacia honey or 2 tsp. superfine sugar
Pat the steak dry and place in the freezer until slightly firm, 10 to 20 minutes.
In a saucepan with a lid, toast the pink peppercorns over medium-high heat, swirling often, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the butter. When it melts, add the rice; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is toasted, about a minute more. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the scallions and fluff with a fork.
Remove the steak from the freezer and slice it very thinly against the grain. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet or wok over high. Add 2 tbsp. oil, two turns of the pan, to the skillet. Working in batches, cook the steak in a single layer until browned and crispy at the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a platter. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil to the skillet. Add the chopped peppers, celery, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry until the peppers are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sherry to the skillet. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Add the mixture to the pan, then add the stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Mix in the honey. Add the beef and toss to coat.
Serve the stir-fry in shallow bowls on beds of pink peppercorn rice.