Special effects artist, Will Carmack, comes on the show to learn how to make real steak pizzaiola, a keto recipe to help with his new diet. I teach him how to hold a knife, how to use a knife and how to prepare a delish keto meal that gives you all the tastes of a bowl of pasta and meatballs, just without the carbs.
1½ lbs, Bottom Round, cut into two thicker steaks or 4 thinner steaks.
1 Can of Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes Pureed (or 1 24oz Jar of good quality Passata
4 Cloves of Garlic, Thinly Sliced
1 Onion, Sliced Thin
1 Basil Sprig
2 Tablespoons, Avocado Oil or some high smoke point oil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
1 Cup of Good Quality White Wine (optional)
Parmigiano Reggiano Grated
Good Quality Finishing Olive Oil
Dry brining the meat is an optional first step. If you have one large piece of bottom round, slice into 2 pieces for thick steaks, or you could slice into 4 thinner, faster cooking steaks. You can also ask your butcher to do this. Ask for bottom round steaks. Then cover the steak in kosher salt or sea salt as you would if you were cooking it normally, then let it sit in your fridge overnight. If your fridge doesn’t stink and you know you won’t contaminate anything in the fridge, leave it sitting uncovered to dry out the surface to create a great sear. The next day, take the steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temp before cooking.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your onion and garlic cloves and chop your parsley for garnish later.
With paper towels, give the steaks one last pat dry. You can also season again with salt lightly but it’s not really necessary.
Get a dutch oven, or heavy pot that you can cover somehow and then transfer to the oven. A dutch oven is best. Get it on to the stove on medium heat and add the avocado oil. Add the steaks, without cover crowding and searing them really well. Do not flip them until you know there is a hard crust on the steaks. Once that crust is achieved, flip and repeat on the other side. Be patient with this. This is the process of developing flavor. Once seared, transfer to a plate, then drain out that old oil into a bowl.
Get the dutch oven back on to the stove on medium-high heat and add the onions. Salt the onions and add a tiny bit of olive oil as needed and sauté the onions while scraping up some of the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The water from the onions will help with this. Once the onions start to pick up a little color, add the garlic, the basil, a little oil if needed and cook the garlic until fragrant. Once the vegetables are just beginning to brown, shut the flame off and then add the wine. Get the heat back on and then reduce that wine until it is almost gone. Then add the tomato passata. If the puree is thick, add some water to thin it out. We need the puree a little loose because over the course of two hours of cooking, that sauce will reduce and we need to give it enough water so that by the time it's done cooking, it's the right consistency. Then add the steaks back to the back and bring it up to a boil, cover and then transfer to the oven.
Cook in the oven for about 1½ - 2 hours. But don’t focus on the time as much as the texture of the meat. We want the meat to be able to pull apart when cut with a fork but not fall about when picked up. So the way we check for this is by sticking a fork into the center of each piece of meat to see if the fork can puncture the meat fully without any resistance. If you check the meat and the fork doesn’t push through like butter, it needs more time in the oven.
Once the meat is fork-tender, mine took 2 hours, pull it out of the oven and let it rest and relax for 15 minutes.
Spoon some sauce on a plate, add a steak to each plate, a little more sauce, some Parmigiano, parsley, and some good olive oil. Pairs nicely with some spinach quickly sautéed in garlic and oil.
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