The word "saute": Spanish for saute is soefreir, and the definition of both words is to fry lightly and quickly in moderately hot grease, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Meat, fowl, fish and all vegetables can be sauteed. In many recipes it is the first step in the preparation on an entree.
When you saute such vegetables as onion, pepper, and garlic, the frying eliminates the strong taste and only a pleasant taste remains.
Garlic burns easily and the disagreeable taste of burned garlic can be disastrous. So, I saute the onion and pepper first and add the garlic after the onion is transparent. It should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes.
Red meats are usually sauteed quickly to seal in the juices of the meats. No other ingredients should be added until the red color of the meat disappears. Then whatever the recipe calls for, such as onion, peppers, tomato, etc. are added to the meat and these should saute until soft and transparent before adding liquids of any kind.
Courtesy of Clarita's Cocina