Thinly sliced steak is seared and then simmered in a pizza style sauce, allowing the meat to absorb the umami rich tomato flavors.
Steak Pizzaiola is a traditional Italian dish that combines steak with a flavorful tomato-based sauce, often seasoned with herbs like oregano and garlic. The name “pizzaiola” derives from the word “pizza”, suggesting the steak is prepared in the style of a pizza maker due to the tomato sauce element. Typically, the steak is seared and then simmered in the sauce, allowing the meat to absorb the umami rich tomato flavors.
Steak Pizzaiola is a meal that I grew eating as a kid. My mother would serve it with mashed potatoes and green vegetables. It was a family favorite then, and it is still a winner for the family today. My version is pretty similar to my Mom’s one, though I prefer to serve it without the mashed potato – my favorite sides are sweet potato wedges and broccoli.
Step by Step Guide to Making Steak Pizzaiola
1. Preparing Your Steak:
- Start by taking your thin-cut sirloin steaks out of the refrigerator to let them come to room temperature. This ensures even cooking.
- Pat them dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture, which can hinder proper searing.
- Season each steak generously on both sides with salt and freshly milled black pepper. This will help in enhancing the steak’s natural flavors.
2. Searing the Steak:
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. It’s essential to wait until the oil is shimmering but not smoking.
- Lay your steaks in the skillet. If your skillet isn’t large enough to accommodate all the steaks without crowding, it’s best to work in batches. Crowding the pan can cause steaming, preventing a nice sear.
- Flip the steaks once, searing until they reach your desired level of doneness.
3. Sauce Base:
- After setting aside your seared steaks, reduce the heat to medium. This ensures that the garlic won’t burn, which can give a bitter taste to your sauce.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil followed by minced garlic. Sauté until the garlic releases its aromatic essence, which should take about 30 seconds.
- The next step involves deglazing: Pour in your white wine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to release any browned bits. This process enriches your sauce with the flavors trapped in those bits.
4. Incorporating Tomatoes:
- Now, add the halved cherry tomatoes to your skillet. As they cook, they should soften and wrinkle slightly.
5. Intensifying Flavor:
- Introduce your flavor enhancers: sliced olives, capers, tomato paste, and oregano. These ingredients contribute briny, umami-rich, and earthy flavors to the dish.
- Stir continuously to ensure the tomato paste fully incorporates, thickening the sauce and deepening its rich tomato flavor.
- Pour in your low-sodium chicken stock, mixing it well with the other ingredients. Allow your sauce to gently simmer for about 15 minutes.
7. Returning to the Sauce:
- Return your seared steaks to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. This not only warms the steak back up but also allows it to absorb the sauce’s flavors.
- Once your steaks are adequately warmed, transfer them to plates. Spoon generous amounts of the sauce over each steak.
- Tear fresh basil leaves over the top .
Ness is a qualified nutritionist, a life & wellness coach in-training, and a mother of two extremely energetic toddlers. She has created Becomingness, a health and wellness website, to help women achieve their health and wellness goals by providing accurate, accessible and attractive products and services that promote motivation, empowerment, self-belief and happiness.