Stewed steak. My mom made it when we were kids, with chuck steak, canned tomatoes and an abundance of green pepper. I hated it. I dislike green peppers in most everything and can still taste their bitterness whenever I think back to those dinners. Over the years though, stewed steak and I have become good friends. Now I make it with sweet bell peppers instead of the green peppers my mom used, and add some extra seasoning. Funny how we can grow up, change a few small things, and learn to make a recipe our own. :)
Now that we’re working at re-stocking the freezer, you’ll often find me haunting the meat counter at our grocery store in the early mornings. The meat department staff go through the stock in the coolers at that time of day, marking down any articles whose “best by” date is the following day. The meat is still fine and, provided you cook it that day either for service or for the freezer, there are some big savings to be had.
My most recent early morning meat shopping foray yielded me a “family pack” of blade steak, enough for at least 6 meals for the two of us. It's a tough cut of meat that needs braising or long, slow cooking, but blade steak is comparitively inexpensive and very flavourful. I gladly brought it home.
I used one of the blade steaks from that package of meat to make stewed steak. I served it on a cool rainy evening, when we were craving comfort food. The leftovers, shredded, reheated, and served on home-made multigrain buns, made an excellent lunch the following day.
To make Stewed Steak, you’ll need:
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds blade steak (a little more if your steak is bone in)
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) dried pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup sliced sweet bell pepper (I used frozen)
- 2 cups leftover spaghetti sauce or broken up canned whole tomatoes
You will also need an ovenproof skillet with a tight fitting lid.
Sprinkle the garlic, oregano, and dried pepper flakes over top of the meat. (I rub the oregano between my palms to release the essential oils.) Arrange the peppers on top of the steak portions. Pour the spaghetti sauce or tomatoes over the whole thing.
Put the lid on the pan and put the pan on the center rack of a preheated 350ºF oven. Bake the steak for about an hour. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Serve the steak over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Leftovers freeze well.