Italian Beef Recipes
Steak Pizzaiola (Bistecca Pizzaiola)
Sicilian Pot Roast
Tuscan Style Braised Beef with Red Wine
Steak Pizzaiola (Bistecca Pizzaiola)
“Steak in the Style of the Pizza Maker”
(Serves 4)

Steak Pizzaiola is a Neapolitan dish.  In Naples, some of the most popular toppings for a pizza are simply chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped garlic, and oregano.  These same ingredients are then used to make a sauce for simmering steaks, which is how the dish got its name.  If you use canned tomatoes, add about 2 cups and include some of the juice from the can; omit the additional tomato juice or water.


4 small sirloin or rib eye steaks, 3/4 to 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil’
4 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup tomato juice or water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


Pat the steak s dry; season them with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the steaks.
Cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
Reduce the heat to low.
Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet; cover partially.
Cook, turning the steaks occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
The steaks should be tender and the sauce slightly thickened.
Serve the steaks topped with some of the sauce.
Sicilian Pot Roast

(Serves 4 to 6)


2-1/2 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper
Flour for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 large onions, peeled and sliced
3 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2-1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup dry Marsala wine
2 to 3 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch slices


Season the roast with salt and pepper.  Coat with flour, shaking off excess.

Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan (Dutch oven) over medium heat.  Add the roast and brown on all sides. Transfer the roast to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the saucepan.
Saute the onions, bay leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions just begin to brown. Add the white wine and Marsala. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes and reduce by half.
Return the roast to the saucepan. Add enough chicken broth to reach halfway up the side of the roast and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Turn the meat a few times during the 2 hours.
Remove the meat to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they begin to brown. Add the carrots and celery and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the vegetables to the gravy in the saucepan. Bring the gravy to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the gravy has thickened. If the gravy is reducing too much during this time, cover the saucepan. Return the meat to the saucepan and cook just long enough to reheat the meat.

Serving Suggestion:  Serve with wide pasta, such as pappardelle, or mashed potatoes.
Tuscan Style Braised Beef with Red WIne
(Serves 4)


1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 pounds chuck steak, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1-1/4 cups red wine
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage


Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Add the beef to the skillet and brown on all sides.  Remove to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the saucepan.Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Pour in the beef broth, tomatoes, and red wine.
Return the beef to the saucepan. Add the rosemary and sage.
Simmer over low heat, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Beef is done it is very tender and the sauce is thickened.
Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with soft polenta and Italian green beans.
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It's tempting to add just one more piece of meat to the skillet when browning, but don't do it, because the meat will never get the brown crust you want.  Instead, cook in batches, and don't rush the process. Dark caramelization yields complex flavor.  The same is true when roasting vegetables.  And for the most evenly baked cookies and cakes, give the pans some space, with two at the most in the oven at the same time.
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