From Cook's Country
We used strip steaks here for their intense flavor and meaty texture. Searing the steaks more quickly—just a few minutes per side—allowed us to finish them in the oven while we prepared the sauce. For our version of Steak Pizzaiola, we borrowed an element from one of our favorite tomato sauce recipes that calls for draining a can of diced tomatoes and caramelizing the tomato chunks before adding the juice. Two other keys to long-simmered flavor were replacing the button mushrooms with earthier creminis and using smoky roasted red peppers instead of bell peppers. Swapping out wine for balsamic vinegar as the deglazing liquid added another dimension of richness, and plenty of garlic and oregano helped to round out the sauce. Finally, a tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes lent a bright, complex flavor.
To cook 4 steaks simultaneously you will need a skillet that is at least 12 inches in diameter and steaks that are no more than 3 inches wide. If your steaks are too large to fit comfortably in the skillet, they can be browned in 2 batches.
- 4 strip steaks, about 1 inch thick (see note)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, juices reserved
- 1 cup drained jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat just until smoking. Brown steaks, about 3 minutes per side, then transfer to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Roast steaks until meat registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), about 10 minutes. Transfer steaks to serving platter, tent with foil, and let rest while preparing sauce.
2. While steaks are in oven, add mushrooms, onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining oil to empty pan and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl; set aside.
3. Add drained diced tomatoes to empty pan and cook until deep red and dry, about 3 minutes. Stir in roasted peppers, reserved tomato juices, and mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is no longer watery, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over steaks. Serve.