Pepper Steak Upgrade: Shaved Flank Steak with Sweet Peppers over Pink Peppercorn Rice
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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

  • Salt

  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock

  • 2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped

  • Black pepper

  • 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


  • Step 1

    Pat the steak dry and place in the freezer until slightly firm, 10 to 20 minutes. 

  • Step 2

    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. 

  • Step 3

    Remove the steak from the freezer and slice it very thinly against the grain. Season with salt and pepper. 

  • Step 4

    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. 

  • Step 5

    Serve the stir-fry in shallow bowls on beds of pink peppercorn rice.

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