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Quick Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers

Quick stir-fried beef strips with sliced onions and red and green bell peppers.

Quick Beef Stir Fry with Bell Peppers
Elise Bauer

Sometime in the mid-80s I gave my father a subscription to Gourmet Magazine for Christmas. I think this goes down in family history as the most appreciated gift ever given to him by one of his kids. He continued to subscribe to Gourmet for at least 15 years.

Over the last few years, mostly to get ideas for this site, dad has been skimming through decades old issues that he still has in stashes all over the house.

Here's a recipe that started out from an old issue of Gourmet and used Worcestershire sauce, but over the years has morphed into something with a more Asian flare with soy sauce and sesame oil, and onions along with the strips of bell pepper.

The original recipe called for chuck, we used top sirloin, which made the beef strips very tender, but because the strips are so thin, and cut across the grain, you could easily use chuck.

Quick Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound top sirloin or chuck steaks (about 1/2 inch thick), trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium bell peppers, one red, one green, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (root to top)
  • A dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or one large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Season steaks with salt, pepper, garlic, then pound thin:

    Season the steaks with salt and pepper and rub minced garlic over one side. Place the steaks between two sheets of plastic wrap. With a meat pounder, pound the steaks to a 1/4 inch thickness.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Let the steaks sit for 10 minutes to absorb the flavor of the garlic.

  2. Cut the steaks across the grain:

    into 1/2-inch wide strips.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Sauté onions and peppers:

    Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the sliced onions and bell peppers, cook, stirring, until just barely tender, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan to a bowl and keep warm.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Sauté beef strips:

    Heat an additional Tbsp of oil in the skillet on high heat, until the oil is shimmering, but not smoking. Add the strips of beef let the beef brown initially, without stirring, but as soon as it is brown on one side, then stir. Cook for no more than a minute (for medium-rare).

    Elise Bauer
  5. Add the peppers and onions, tomatoes, cilantro, soy sauce and sesame oil:

    and cook for a half minute longer, stirring. Remove from heat.

    Serve alone (paleo, low carb), or with steamed rice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Quick Beef Stir Fry with Bell Peppers
Elise Bauer