Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pioneer Woman: Steakhouse Pizza

By now you all know that I tend to be a pizza traditionalist.  Yes, I will have a white pizza or Hawaiian in my rotation, but when I think pizza, I tend to think of a delicious cheese pie.  Plain and simple. 

Which means that, as strange as this sounds, I was glad to have this recipe among our picks this month, because it was unlikely I'd ever try it otherwise.  And that's not because I'm not adventurous, but because I kind-of think of gourmet pizzas like I do fish on a restaurant menu:  I like them just fine, but there's almost always something else on that menu that I'd rather have.

This recipe didn't let us down, and with just a few tweaks we'll make it again -- and again!

PW: Steakhouse Pizza

Verdict:  YUM!  Makes a lot more than you think, too.
Cook it again: Heck to the yes!  For company, too.
Cost Factor:  Hmm.  Tricky, because of the steak.  $10 per pie, maybe?

Here are the ingredients.  I've complained a lot about things being different in Maine and missing Publix, but one of the great things about going back to the Northeast is the amazing selection of Italian food supplies.  I had my pick of two aisles of stuff, and I am not exaggerating.  Of course, I was reduced to tears in trying to find those aisles, but once I got there, I rejoiced.  More than just two brands of stuff, and to boot it was the real stuff from Italy!  Wahoo!

The wine is in there to remind you that you should be drinking wine while you cook pizza, and while you eat pizza.  Okay?

I haven't made pizza dough in a long time, because somewhere buried in my brain was the notion that it was a huge, time-consuming, pain in the neck.


It was about as easy as anything ever could be.  In fact, although you make this in a stand mixer, you don't even use a dough hook!  So come on, this was easy-peasy.  (And if we were still in Georgia, I'd be forced to say, "buh-bye, Publix pizza dough!"  But since that's been taken care of already, I just won't be saying "hello, Shaw's pizza dough" anytime soon.)

Anyway, some flour, some yeast that's been resting in warm water for ten minutes, some salt, and you let it rest for an hour.  (Careful, you don't use a full envelope of yeast.  If you have it in pourable form instead of the envelopes, that's the way to go.)  I took a "before" picture but forgot to take the "after" picture.  No worries.  It grew nicely, probably just shy of doubling.

While that's happening, you grill up some skirt steak or flank steak.  Now maybe I am crazy, but this confused me.  In Georgia, those cuts of meat are usually very inexpensive.  In Maine, I not only had to ask the butcher to find them for me at all, but I was shocked that they were $10/lb!  TEN DOLLARS A POUND!  Um, no thank you.  (Am I crazy?  We were using this to make a pizza, not a steak dinner.)  So I found sandwich steaks that were super thin, priced way more reasonably, and I went with those instead.  I threw them in a grill pan with a little salt and pepper and was very pleased.  In fact, so pleased that I may have eaten more than I should have as chef's snacks.  Just sayin'.

Note:  cook the steaks to the done-ness you want, because they won't cook any additional time later in the recipe.
 When the steaks are done, you remove them from the heat and start working on the red onion.  It's simply red onions with balsamic vinegar tossed until the onions are soft.  They sweetened very well, of course, so at this point I could have taken my cooked steaks, tossed them in the pan with the onions, and grabbed a fork.  I didn't do that too much though, because I had the dough rising and a family to feed.  Sheesh.

Now, onto the sauce.  The recipe calls for a simple, store-bought, good marinara sauce of your choice.  I bought a simple basic pizza sauce and used it instead for no reason other than the fact that I wanted to try it.  (You can see in the photo the two cans.  I only needed less than one can, so we've now got one on reserve.)  It was delicious.  In my opinion, the sauce shouldn't be what you remember from a pizza unless it is meant to be the point of the pizza, and this was the case - just right in terms of flavor, but not overpowering or overly seasoned.  In any event, the recipe says to just mix in some balsamic vinegar with the sauce and spread it on your dough. I didn't take any pics of the sauce.

Oh.  The dough.  You're supposed to roll it out into a giant oval and put it on a giant baking sheet.  We had two problems, if you will.  First, we're still working out our move and our counter-space issue, so I couldn't roll it as thin as it wanted to go because I just plain ran out of room!  That was fine, really:  it just meant I was able to tuck a crust (as opposed to just not putting sauce to the edges and having a flat crust, that is). 

Second, when the pizza was done the dough wasn't as crispy as we prefer.  In the future, instead of doing a baking sheet I'll use a pizza mesh.  I will be able to get the dough thinner that way, too.

In any event, you roll your dough and put it on your baking sheet, spread the sauce, and then add the onions and then the mozzarella.

Bake it 'til it's golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Tell me that doesn't look amazing!

Take it out of the oven, slide (and it slid so easily!) onto a cutting board, and layer with the sliced steak, freshly-grated parmesan, and sprinkle with steak sauce.  (We used A1 because it was all we had.)

Not my best photo ever. I was playing with aperature. 

Holy cow, was this delicious.  The various layers of flavors all stand alone (I could have eaten this as a red-onion pizza!) but together they are amazing.  We had way more steak than we needed, and in the future I'll scale back on that, but it's not as if it hurt the pizza.  We just picked some off and ate the extra steak and the pizza separately.

I am so glad we tried this.  It's wonderful.  Because it's got so much going on, it serves more than it looks like it should.  Two pies like this would easily feed our family and another with a few bites leftover.  And I definitely plan to cook this for friends one night-- it's easy to prep in advance,  inexpensive and simple enough to do for a group, but so tasty that everyone will be impressed!


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