So, I know that the picture for this meal isn't all that great. But, I love this meal so much that I had to post it. Steak Pizzaiola, for those of you who don't know, is steak braised in tomato sauce. Using a chuck steak is economical, and because it's braised the meat gets fork tender. Turn the heat up as high as it can go to get a beautiful sear, assemble your homemade tomato sauce, and stick the entire pan in the oven. You're done. I love meals that are made entirely in a cast iron skillet. The cast iron skillet in our house is my favorite piece of kitchen equipment (next to the stand mixer [my dream stand mixer]), and I use it incesantly. It's so versatile, but if you don't have one, any pan that goes from stovetop to oven is fine. For serving, a pot of pasta or loaf of bread is a great accompaniment to sop up the delicious sauce and juices. I'm making it for dinner tonight with a salad and homemade rosemary focaccia (recipe coming soon). Enjoy!
2 lb. chuck steak, bone removed -or- 2 1/2 lb. chuck steak, bone in
2 tbl olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
10 cloves whole garlic, peeled (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley and/or mozzerella cheese to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the steak heavily with salt and pepper and leave out to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Place the steak into the pan (you should hear a loud sizzle) and let sear for 2-3 minutes. Do not move the steak during this time since the crust needs to form between the steak and pan. Flip the steak over (it should be nicely seared to a dark brown) and sear 2-3 minutes more. Using tongs, sear the steak quickly on the remaining portions around the perimeter. Remove from the pan and turn off the heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the can of tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Season to taste. Add the steak back to the pan with the whole garlic cloves (if using) and spoon sauce over top to cover. Cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the foil and let braise for another 30 minutes. Steak can be served as the main course or shredded into the sauce and served over pasta or with bread. I like it over pasta with a little parsley for a fresh taste, my boyfriend likes it with lots of mozzerella cheese.
Source: Recipe adapted from Lucinda Scala Quinn.