GCC: Steak Pizzaiola

This weeks Gutsy Cook choice used chuck steak as the star of this dish, and then braise it under this rich spicy tomato sauce.  The results were simply magical in our house.  At the end of a 2-hour oven stay, the meat was pull apart tender, infused with this rich taste of tomatoes with a kick of spice.  What could be better than that for a lazy weekend meal? Nothing, it hit the right spot with our taste buds.

We love the idea of making a big bowl of rigatoni to go along with this; instead we opted to make some mashed potatoes to soak up that sauce after we found out our pantry was low on pasta and no rigatoni option to be found.

I did not change up the main formula of the recipe but I did add other ingredients to enhance the flavors - I wanted a really bold tomato sauce. I could not find bone-in chuck steak, so I went with boneless option.  I’m sure it would have been more amazing with the bone-in chuck, but there was no complaints on the end product.

I also added a small chopped onion, and for deeper flavor profile I also used cappers and anchovies paste.  My herbs were fresh, because I simply believe to go fresh if you have that option.

I usually love these types of recipes, since you can pretty much add and take away and still come up with a great dish at the end.


  • 2½ pounds bone-in chuck steak, or 2 pounds if boneless
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried fresh thyme
  • ¼  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of anchovies paste
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cappers
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper (I also added some of the fresh chopped herbs at this point too). Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and swirl in the olive oil. Brown the meat on both sides. Remove the meat from the skillet and take the pan off the heat.

Stir into the pan the garlic, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and whole tomatoes. Mash up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, return the meat to the pan, spoon the sauce over it, and cover tightly.

Braise in the oven for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened up.

This is part of the Gutsy Cook April’s menu line up, you can check out the other gutsy cooks results in the comment section.

Tip: if you want to not braise the meat, choose a different type of cut and make steaks (flank, or sirlion) instead, then make the sauce just like the recipe and cook over the stove.  A quick meal in less than 30 minutes for a weeknight option.