Monday, November 16, 2009
Cooking Italy: Pan-Broiled Steaks with Tomatoes and Olives
Definitely worth the wait.
The one thing that gave me the culinary creeps was the greek black olives. I'd accidentally eaten them before and generally shunned them as I preferred the regular black olives. So part of me was definitely tempted to skip that ingredient.
My other big concern was in flattening the steaks. My gift in life is defnitely not in cooking meat to the right consistency. I'm either overdone or underdone. No middle of the road for me with cooking (or in life in general).
I was totally surprised in how great this tasted. And how easy it was to make. Of course it helped that I went with diced tomatoes and jarred garlic which left it still very tasty. I also was pleased by how good the greek olives worked with this recipe (a lot more than I had anticipated).
Pan-Broiled Thin Beef Steaks with Tomatoes and Olives
Marcella Hazan "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking"
1/2 medium onion sliced very thin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled & sliced very thin
2/3 cup canned Italian Tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice
1/4 tsp dried oregnao (or 1/2 tsp fresh)
1 dozen black greek olives pitted and quartered
1 lb boneless beef steaks, flattened thin and notched
Put the sliced onion and olive oil in a suate pan, turn on the heat to medium low and cook the onion, letting it gradually wilt. When it becomes a pale gold, add the garlic. cook the garlic until it becomes very lightly colored, then add the tomatoes with their juice and the oregano. Stir thoroughly to coat well, adjust heat so that the tomatoes cook at a steady simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the oil floats free of the tomatoes. Add salt, a few grindings of pepper, and the olives, stir thoroughly and cook for 1 more minute. Turn heat down to minimum.
Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, until it is hot, then quickly grease the bottom with a cloth towel soaked in vegetable oil (I omitted this and just sprayed with olive oil). Put in the beef slices, cooking both sides just long enough to brown them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as you turn them.
Transfer meat to the pan with the tomato sauce and turn it 2 or 3 times. Put the steaks on a warm serving platter, turning out the sauce over them and serve at once.
** The recipe can be completed up to this point several hours or even a day in advance. Stop short of of putting in the olives, adding them only after reheating the sauce, before it is combined with the steaks.