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Smothered Steak

This Easy Smothered Steak recipe is made using sirloin or strip steaks drizzled in a homemade onion and green pepper gravy. This is the perfect comfort food meal!

smothered steak with gravy and rice and vegetables

What Does “Smothered” Mean?

Smothering is a technique used in Southern cuisine and usually within Creole and Cajun dishes. It involves searing and/or browning meat, vegetables, or seafood in a pan, deglazing the pan with broth or stock, and then using the flavors from the pan to make gravy to “smother” the meal.

Popular dishes include Smothered Chicken Wings, Smothered Pork Chops, Smothered Chicken, Smothered Turkey Wings, Smothered Turkey Necks, smothered okra, potatoes, and corn.

green peppers, onions, and spices in white bowls

What Type of Steak to Use

This recipe will work with any cut of steak. I prefer to use NY strip steaks or sirloin. You can use ribeyes, filet mignon, etc. For some people smothered steak means cube steak or hamburger steak using tenderized beef. Feel free to use that if you wish!

How to Season the Steak

I like to keep it simple when seasoning the steak because the gravy will provide a lot of flavor as well. I recommend smoked paprika (regular works fine), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

raw sirloin steaks on a plate

Room Temperature Steak

You should never sear cold meat or seafood straight from the fridge. Allow the steak to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) prior to cooking. This will allow the steak to cook at an even and consistent temperature. If you add it to a hot pan while cold, the muscle fibers will tense up and result in tough steak.

Pan Seared Steak

Cast iron and stainless steel pans work best for searing because they are made to withstand high heat temperatures and produce a crust/outer layer on food. A non-stick pan isn’t made for high-heat cooking, it will likely damage it.

Sear the steak on both sides for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Be sure to sear both edges of each steak as well.

butter, flour, broth, and heavy cream in separate glass bowls

Air Fryer Steak

Air fry the steaks on 370 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

How to Make Smothered Steak

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Allow the steak to come to room temperature prior to cooking.
  2. Season the steak with smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Pan sear, grill, or air fry.
  4. Reserve the steak drippings that remain in the pan.
  5. Add sliced onions and green peppers to the pan. Saute until the vegetables are soft. Set aside.
  6. Add butter and olive oil to the skillet on medium heat.
  7. When melted, add in flour.
  8. Add in broth, heavy cream or half and half, and garlic powder. Stir until the gravy/sauce thickens. Return the steaks, green peppers, and onions to the pan with the gravy.
steak seared in a cast iron skillet
collage of 4 photos with steak gravy

Cook Time/How Long to Cook

Overall, cook time will vary based on the size of your steaks and your preferred doneness.

According to the USDA, you should cook all raw beef to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. 145 degrees is longer than some people like to cook their steaks. Use your judgment.

You will need to use a meat thermometer and cook to 125° F for rare, 135° F for medium-rare, 145° F for medium, 155° F for medium-well, and 160° F for well done.

smothered steak with gravy in a cast iron skillet

How to Substitute Heavy Cream

You can use any milk in the recipe, keep in mind the flavor of the milk you use will be present in the flavor of the gravy. Heavy whipping cream is recommended because it’s great at thickening. If you use milk with less fat or something like almond milk, your gravy won’t be as thick.

You can also omit the cream. It’s added for flavor.

smothered steak with gravy in a cast iron skillet

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge tightly covered for 3-4 days.

How to Reheat

This reheats great in the microwave or on the stove if you have plenty of gravy leftover.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze leftovers tightly covered and sealed. For best taste, they will last up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat.

smothered steak with gravy and rice and vegetables

Pair With These Sides

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ranch Mashed Potatoes
Southern Green Beans
Southern Collard Greens

Baked Corn on the Cob
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes

Check out our list of The Best Side Dishes for Steak, Slow Cooker Crockpot Neck Bones, and
Southern Pork Neck Bones.

More Steak Recipes

Lemon Pepper Steak
Steak Stir Fry
Air Fryer Steak
Homemade Steak Seasoning and Rub
Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
Slow Cooker Crockpot Oxtails
Tender Juicy Oxtail recipe

smothered steak with gravy and rice and vegetables

Smothered Steak

This Easy Smothered Steak recipe is made using sirloin or strip steaks drizzled in a homemade onion and green pepper gravy. This is the perfect comfort food meal!
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword smothered steak, smothered steak recipe, steak and gravy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 steaks
Calories 807kcal

Ingredients

Steak

  • 2 steaks NY Strip, Ribeye, Sirloin, etc (8-10oz each)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped or sliced onions I used a white onion.

Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4-1 cup chicken broth Use your judgment. Less broth for thick gravy, more broth to thin out gravy.
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half Either will work fine in the recipe.
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Allow the steak to come to room temperature prior to cooking (about 30 minutes).
  • Season the steak with smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

Pan Seared Steak

  • Heat a skillet or grill pan on medium-high heat with olive oil.
  • When hot, add the steaks to the pan. Sear both sides of the steak for 3-4 minutes. Ensure the edges are seared.
    Cook time will vary depending on your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer and cook to 125° F for rare, 135° F for medium-rare, 145° F for medium, 155° F for medium-well, and 160° F for well done.
  • When the steaks have cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  • Reserve the steak drippings that remain in the pan. It will be used for the gravy.
  • Add the sliced onions and green peppers to the pan. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.
    Remove the vegetables and set them aside with the steak.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to the skillet on medium heat.
  • When melted, add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping. Stir until it creates a thick roux.
  • Add in the broth, heavy cream or half and half, and garlic powder. Stir until the gravy/sauce thickens. Return the steaks, green peppers, and onions to the pan with the gravy.
  • Serve.

Air Fryer Steak

  • Cook for 5 minutes on 370 degrees. After 5 minutes, open the air fryer and test the internal temperature. Cook for an additional 2-7 minutes.
    Cook time will vary depending on your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer and cook to 125° F for rare, 135° F for medium-rare, 145° F for medium, 155° F for medium-well, and 160° F for well done.
  • Prepare your gravy on the stove using the instructions outlined above.

Grilled Steak

  • Allow the steak to come to room temperature prior to cooking (about 30 minutes).
  • Preheat grill to 500 degrees.
  • When the grill is hot, add the steaks to the grill. Grill on both sides for 3-4 minutes.
    Cook time will vary depending on your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer and cook to 125° F for rare, 135° F for medium-rare, 145° F for medium, 155° F for medium-well, and 160° F for well done.
  • Prepare your gravy on the stove using the instructions outlined above.

Notes

Feel free to trim the fat from your steaks or shape them up to your liking.
Allow the steak to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) prior to cooking. This will allow the steak to cook at an even and consistent temperature. If you add it to a hot pan while cold, the muscle fibers will tense up and result in tough steak.
Allow the meat to rest for at least 3 minutes before slicing or consuming. If you slice into the steak too soon, that will cause the inside moisture within the steak to spill out onto the plate, leaving a drier, less flavorful steak.
You can use any milk in the recipe, keep in mind the flavor of the milk you use will be present in the flavor of the gravy. Heavy whipping cream is recommended because it’s great at thickening. If you use milk with less fat or something like almond milk, your gravy won’t be as thick.
You can also omit the cream. It’s added for flavor.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 10oz | Calories: 807kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 53g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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