This Turkish pepper steak recipe is one that I often make for my family since it is quick and tasty. Sweet green peppers, garlic, onion, and tomatoes are stir-fried and cooked with beef cubes until fork-tender.
What I like about this recipe is that you don't need expensive cuts of beef like sirloin steak or the New York strip. With additional cooking time, and cutting the beef into smaller pieces, you'll achieve a dish that is just as delicious—without breaking your wallet.
These summer days are spent with the girls at the park, and because we are in Turkey, lots of picnics. We've been sipping on strawberry refreshers to keep cool and there's nothing more satisfying to eat after a long day at the park than this pepper steak served with buttery rice. It hits the spot every time.
We have found the neighborhood we want to be a part of after two years of living in Turkey. There is natural spring water, and our area is surrounded by mountains. It is absolutely beautiful.
Let's talk about the ingredients you need for the Turkish Pepper Steak.
Turkish Pepper Steak Ingredients
- Beef: Regardless of the cut, slicing the meat into little cube-like pieces is crucial. You'll notice that chopping all of the ingredients into tiny bits gives you a wonderfully satisfying taste of all of the components every time.
- Peppers: If you like your food on the spicier side, add in diced jalapenos, otherwise, use sweet Cubanelle Peppers for this dish. In Turkish, it's called köy biberi.
- Onion and garlic: Will be the base of this dish giving all that umami flavor.
- Tomatoes: Feel free to use Roma or tomatoes on the vine. Use small tomatoes, not large ones.
- Red Pepper Paste: You can find Turkish-style red pepper paste in the Mediterranean section of your market, If not, you can find it at a Mediterranean market. Some varieties say that it's spicy—but it never really is. This red pepper paste is generally sweet like paprika.
- Herbs & spices: Use dried herbs like mint and earthy oregano. The ground sweet paprika powder will reinforce that sweet pepper taste in the dish. I bet smoked paprika would be delicious.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is the base of all Mediterranean cooking and would not substitute for any other oil.
Instructions to Make Turkish Beef Pepper Steak
- Dice all of the vegetables small. There is a saying about the meat that the cubes of beef should be small like a bird's head. The onion and peppers should be diced small too. Each bite should consist of all of the ingredients for a mouthful of flavor.
- Sautee the onions and garlic. Start by heating a skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, drizzle in the olive oil, and add the onion, peppers, garlic, salt, and oregano. Stir-fry until the onions have softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the remaining spices and red pepper paste. Mint and paprika tend to burn easier, so I like to stir-fry them just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Then add in the pepper paste, stir-fry once more for another 15 seconds, and add enough water to the skillet until the beef is halfway submerged in water.
- Cook for 45 minutes, or until the meat is fork-tender. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet with a lid, string periodically, and cook the beef until the sauce reduces. The result is a thick, tomato-like sauce. If you run out of water too quickly, reduce the heat even further and add more water as needed, stirring occasionally.
What cut of meat is used for pepper steak?
Since we will slow-cook the beef, you can use cheaper, tougher—but very delicious cuts of beef like chuck, flank steak (just make sure to cut across the grain), bottom round, or the shoulder.
How to Serve
Serve the pepper steak dish with steamy, buttery rice, a simple salad, Turkish tzatziki, and a nice bowl of soup (before the meal). This is what a typical dinner looks like in Turkey.
If you surprisingly have any leftovers, wait until the pepper beef cools completely before storing it in a container with a lid. keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Reheat
Reheat any leftovers on a skillet on medium heat and stir-fry until hot, about 4-5 minutes.
More Crave-Worthy Recipes
Skirt Steak Marinade with Cider and Sage. This skirt steak marinade is a delicious blend of citrus, fresh sage, garlic, and apple cider vinegar, providing a rich, tangy, and savory flavor that enhances the steak’s natural taste.
Homestyle Beef Stew Recipe. This beef stew is simply irresistible and makes for a perfect dinner any night of the week. Juicy beef slow-cooked to perfection, is simmered in a rich and flavorful broth.
Turkish Pepper Steak Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 3 medium green bell pepper or Turkish sivi biber peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 teaspoons sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, small cube
- 2 tablespoons Turkish red pepper paste
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika powder
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- cooked rice and fresh chopped parsley for serving
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the onions have softened.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes break down.
- Add the beef. Stir-fry until the meat has browned. There should be juices from the beef entering the pan at this point.
- Add the red pepper paste, mint, and paprika to the beef. Stir-fry just enough to distribute the paste all over the beef.
- Add enough water to cover the beef halfway.
- Lower the heat. Cook, covered with a lid, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.