Friday, June 10, 2011

Steak Pizzaiola

Steak Pizzaiola

My hubby, Dan, is on this Soprano's rerun kick lately.  In a recent episode we watched together, Tony walked into an Italian joint and they were serving this savory dish.  Dan got hungry for it.  So, forgetaboutit!  I was gonna make it or else...   You got a problem with that?  ;.)))

Dan's mom - Mama Pirri - worked in an Italian-family owned restaurant in Connecticut for years.  She "ran the place."

Mama Pirri makes the best classic Steak Pizzaiola based on a recipe she learned while she worked there -- I will attest, it is one that Tony and the boys would surely love.

A radiant Mama Pirri with Ralph Loglisci on his birthday.
Ralph lives in Florida now but he is the former co-owner
of JR's Restaurant in Stamford, CT

Here is my kicked up version using fresh herbs and a little onion and bell pepper.   The most notable addition is Mozzarella Cheese.  Is this a "classic" recipe?  Probably not... but it is goooood..!  All you need to go with this dish is a little whole wheat penne and nice summer salad of tomato, onion, cucumber, salt, pepper, oil and white wine vinegar.

You can use your favorite Marinara Sauce from the jar or try my recipe (below).

Steak Pizzaiola

1 - 1 1/2 pound Chuck Steak, about 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon freshly Ground Pepper
1 small Green Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
1 small Sweet or Vidalia Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry White Wine
2 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese (from the can)
4 ounces Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese, sliced into four slices
Fresh chopped Oregano, to taste
Fresh chopped Basil, to taste
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese for passing at the table, optional

Using a Dutch Oven, brown chuck steak in oil.  Season with garlic salt and pepper and set meat aside on a plate once browned.

Add bell pepper and onion to pan.  Cook for three minutes.  Add wine and deglaze pan.

Add Marinara sauce to cover meat.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about 2 hours.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese and cook for another 15 minutes. 

Preheat broiler.  Top meat with Mozzarella Cheese.  Broil for five minutes until bubbly.  Transfer to serving plate.  Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Serving suggestion:  Use the sauce with the peppers and onions to top whole wheat pasta.

MK's Slow Cooked Marinara Sauce 

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic (Garlic Powder)
1/4 cup Dry White Wine
1 - 32 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
1 small Sweet or White Onion, peeled but left whole
1/4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon fine Sea Salt, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon freshly Ground Pepper, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
2 tablespoons Dried Oregano
2 tablespoons Grated Parmesean Cheese*

* If I am making Steak Pizzaiola I save the Parmesean Cheese for the step noted below with the steak.
Add olive oil to pan and sauté granulated garlic over low heat for three minutes, incorporating the flavor into the oil.  The granulated garlic should be golden but not brown after this step.

Add wine to pan.  Simmer one minute.

Add all ingredients except for the parmesan cheese.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for about 3 – 4 hours (more if you can), stirring occasionally. 

If just making the sauce, add parmesan cheese at the end.
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