I was the kid who had a dinner bell. There, glad I could get that off my chest. Dinner bells do not just appear, no, they are procured out of a need. Growing up I, along with my neighborhood friends, would stay out until all hours playing. It didn’t matter what we played, just that we were outside and playing.
Dinnertime always snuck up on us. It seemed that we lived in a state of never knowing the time, just that we got home from school and immediately met outside to play. Oftentimes I wouldn’t “hear” my dad yelling from the front porch that it was indeed dinner time.
Something you probably don’t know about my family, but wouldn’t be surprised to learn, is that we are not necessarily a quiet people. So the fact that I couldn’t “hear” my dad yelling seems more like selective hearing than actual not hearing, at least in hindsight.
Thus the procurement of the dinner bell. My dad stopped at nothing to make sure he was heard, and hear we did. My friends of course laughed at me the first time that triangle rang it’s melodious ring, and I, head hung in shame, trudged back towards my house.
All of those words to say that it’s not like dinner was bad, or that I didn’t want to eat it, it’s just that playing was way more interesting than eating. Oh how things have changed…
This meal is well worth the pause in whatever you’re doing. It’s hearty and impressive enough to make for a dinner party, but simple enough to make and have time to prepare a side, clean the house or catch up on a favorite show. The meat braises into a fall apart texture that when combined with the tomatoes creates a rich flavor. It’s definitely the perfect meal for a weekend, and I promise you won’t have to ring any bells for this one.
Steak Pizziaole (Papa B’s recipe)
*Don’t worry if potatoes or beans are soft (they are best with Flat Italian Green beans)
*You can also use pasta or arborio rice as a side, instead of the veggies.
*The best part is that it truly is a one pot meal that looks and tastes much more complicated than it really is.
2.5-3 lbs chuck tender roast (you can substitute chuck round steak)
2-5 tbsp olive oil (gauge how much you need for searing and braising, you might need more)
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
4 sprigs (about 2 tbsp.) chopped fresh oregano
1 lb green beans, washed, ends broken off (If your grocery store has flat, italian green beans, use those instead, they hold their flavor a little better).
5 baking potatoes, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
For the sauce: (if you’re not making your own tomato sauce)
2 28oz cans San Marzano CERTIFIED Peeled Tomatoes (they HAVE TO BE CERTIFIED, or else the taste and the texture will not be correct)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb coarsely, freshly grated mozzarella (to taste)
1 c marsala cooking wine
*You can use a clay baker or a dutch oven for this, but do NOT use a slow cooker.
- Spray baker with cooking spray and pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat and saute garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
- Sear meat until nicely golden brown on all sides, set meat aside.
- Roughly chop potatoes and onions, and roughly dice canned tomatoes
- Pour peeled tomatoes with juice in the baker, along with used olive oil and garlic (from the pan that held the meat)
- Place meat on top of tomatoes and position potatoes, green beans and onions around meat.
- Pour in 1 C of marsala cooking wine
- Pour the last 2 cans of tomatoes on top
- Top with freshly grated mozzarella and parmesan
- Drizzle about 3 tbsp. of olive oil on top
Braise for about 3 hours until meat is fork tender (check it intermittently as cooking times may vary).
Serve with a crusty bread