Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bistecca Pizzaiola






     A Traditional Italian Steak Recipe!
     I have cooked a few hundred Steak Pizzaiola entrées in Italian fine dining restaurants in the past.  I have even sold a few in French cafés.  It takes a good steak and top quality tomatoes to make this recipe as it was intended to be.  When prepared correctly, Bistecca Pizzaiola is a real crowd pleaser! 
     I have posted many different traditional Italian tomato sauce recipes in my recipe blog so far.  Each different style of tomato sauce is well suited to a particular kind of pasta or meat.  Today's Pizzaiola Sauce is designed for beef steak.  Pizzaiola Sauce is an "a la minute" sauce.  Since this sauce is cooked to order, the flavors are crisp and bright.  The fond (suc) that is stuck to the pan from searing the steak is a key flavor for this sauce, so be sure the pan is hot.
     
     Bistecca Pizzaiola:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Imported Italian canned whole San Marzano Tomatoes that are packed in their own juices are best for this recipe.  San Marzano Tomatoes require very little cooking time. 
     Step 1:  Coarsely chop 3 to 4 imported Italian canned whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes that are packed in their own juices.  (About 1 cup.)  
     Place the chopped tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/4 cup of the San Marzano Tomato Juice from the can.
     Set the tomatoes aside.
     Step 2:  Trim the excess fat and gristle from a 12 ounce New York Strip Steak.  
     Lightly season the steak with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of blended olive oil.
     Place the steak in the pan.
     Pan sear the steak on both sides till it is browned and the steak cooked just shy of the preferred finish temperature.   
     Step 4:  Remove the steak from the pan and set it on a platter.
     Keep the steak warm on a stove top.
     Step 5:  Pour the excess grease out of the hot sauté pan.
     Step 6:  Place the sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of minced garlic. 
     Gently sauté till the garlic turns a golden color.
     Step 7:  Add the reserved chopped San Marzano Tomatoes and their own juices.
     Deglaze the pan.
     Add 2 ounces of Italian plum tomato puree.
     Briefly stir and scrape the brown fond that is stuck to the pan into the sauce. 
     Step 8:  Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.  (Chile Caribe)
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 4 whole fresh basil leaves.  (medium size)
     Add 5 whole fresh Italian Parsley leaves. 
     Add sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste.
     Step 9:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till the excess liquid evaporates and the sauce looks full bodied.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Step 10:  Bias cut the steak into thin slices.  (Cutting on the bias = cutting at a 45º angle.) 
     Overlap the steak slices on the front half a plate, so they form a semi circle shape. 
     Spoon a generous portion of the Pizzaiola Sauce over the back edge of the sliced steak slices. 
     Step 11:  Place an Italian style vegetable and potato of your choice on the back half of the plate. 
     Garnish with a fresh basil top sprig.

     The bold zesty flavor of fresh herbs, garlic, red chile pepper and rich tomato is what makes Pizzaiola Sauce great with steak!

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