Smothering a steak in marinara sauce sounds easy. But many recipes ignore the details.
Why This Recipe Works
Tender steak bathed in a garlicky tomato sauce sounds pretty good, right? The dish is called steak pizzaiola (“pizza maker's steak”), and it's a staple of old-school Italian American restaurants. We tried many recipes, and the results were all over the place. For our version, we were after steak that tasted like it had been cooked in the sauce to marry the flavors—good steak pizzaiola is more than just the sum of its parts. Draining canned whole peeled tomatoes of their liquid before using them helped mitigate the watery flavor canned tomatoes can sometimes have. Quickly dredging the steaks in flour before searing gave the exterior of the meat a velvety layer that helped the steaks hold on to the sauce. Adding the steaks back to a quick-simmered sauce to finish cooking tenderized them without turning them tough.