A cost-friendly and easy steak recipe to make, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, featuring a lip-smacking Italian-inspired tomato sauce that’s easy to pair with pasta, rice, or roast potatoes.
If you are constantly thinking about saving money but don’t want to compromise on eating well like I do, this recipe is for you. Bonus: it’s super quick to make as well. Steak dinners are often considered a pricier treat saved for occasions like date nights. Whilst that is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a delicious steak dinner treat when being under a budget either. I’ve only used whatever cheap steak cut I can get my hands on from my neighbourhood butchers for this steak recipe and it does the job.
Inspired by Steak Pizzaiola
The recipe is actually inspired by the Italian Steak Pizzaiola.
Steak Pizzaiola directly translates as “meat in pizza style”, originating from Naples, Italy. It is traditionally made with a cheap cut of meat and cooked in a rich tomato-y sauce. There are so many variations of the dish as well, varying in ingredients combos and cooking times, etc. It’s not just limited to steaks as well. There’s also Carne alla Pizzaiola, which means you can use any types of meats you fancy to create this concept.
Anyhow, I was actually trying to make a steak pizzaiola, but as I went on to make the sauce base, I realised I didn’t exactly want a thick tomato sauce. So after playing around for a few times, I figured I wanted a more liquid-based sauce to “drench” the steak in and ended up with this concoction. Typically in a steak pizzaiola sauce, a lot of the flavours come from olives and capers. Since I’m not the biggest fans of either of them, I didn’t use any in my recipe. Instead, I went with my most trusted ingredient – anchovies!
Using Anchovies as flavour boost
Anchovies may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s like a secret ingredient when it comes to delicious sauces. Salty in nature, anchovies creates an umami savoury touch to whatever sauce you’re making. It goes particularly well with tomatoes. I’ve enjoyed using anchovies with tomato-based pasta sauces as well as stews.
So what I’ve essentially done here in my steak recipe is adapting the cooking method of a steak pizzaiola but recreating a tomato & anchovy sauce base instead – does that make sense?
What type of steak to use
As I mentioned, just a cheap cut steak will do for this recipe.
I used flank steak here, but you can also use skirt steaks, flat iron steaks, hanger steaks, etc. If you do insist of having a little bit more quality of steak cut, feel free to go for the likes of sirloin and ribeye.
How to make this easy steak recipe with anchovy tomato sauce
- Steaks of your choice
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Red Chilli Flakes
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Delfino Anchovy Fillets
- Shallot, finely sliced
- Baby Plum Tomatoes, halved
- Fresh Parsley Leaves, chopped
- Olive Oil
First, start off by rubbing your steaks with paprika and generous amount of salt & black pepper.
Heat a large pan with olive oil over high heat. Sear the steaks until browned and a crust forms, roughly 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same pan, add more olive oil if needed and turn to medium heat. Add in the chopped garlic, red chilli flakes and anchovy fillets. Cook for a minute until fragrant (it’s going to smell fantastic!). Next, add in the sliced shallots and cook until softened and starting to brown.
Toss in the halved tomatoes and season with oregano, salt & pepper. Cook until the tomatoes begin to burst. Stir in the water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced.
Next, stir in the chopped parsley leaves and return the steaks into the pan. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Given how much I like pasta, I like to serve it with some spaghetti. I would toss the cooked spaghetti with a bit of butter and season with salt & black pepper, as well as a pinch of mixed herbs.
Since the sauce has quite a runny and broth-like texture, rice could work well here too! Alternatively, you can serve it with a side of roasted potatoes.
Easy Steak Recipe with Tomato Anchovy Sauce
For the Steak alla Piazzaiola:
- 2 Steaks
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- 3 Anchovy Fillets
- 1 Shallot finely sliced
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 325 g Baby Plum Tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup Water
- 1-3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Season steaks with paprika and generous amount of salt & pepper.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over high heat. Sear steaks on both sides, about 2 minutes each. Set aside.
- In the same pan, turn to medium heat and add more oil if needed. Cook garlic, anchovies, and chilli flakes until fragrant.
- Stir in the shallots and cook for another 5 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
- Add the tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst.
- Stir in water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Stir in the fresh parsley. Return the steaks back into the pan, cover and let it continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Serve immediately.
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