Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Steak Parmigiano ala Erick
I love my friend, Erick. But he can be a very frustrating person at times. It took me over a year to even pry the simplest bean recipe out of him. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when he shared this recipe with me with hardly any prodding. I will admit that it took us a while to figure out what everything is called in English. (Although he speaks better English than anyone from Brazil that I know, Erick still lives in the Brazilian kitchen and a lot of ingredients and words for preparation are not known to him outside of his native Portuguese.) It took us nearly a half hour to decide what cut of beef to use and what the stuff made out of flour was called which turned out to be breadcrumbs. (Thanks God!) Come to think of it, that bean recipe took a while to figure out, too...rsrs
I must say, though, that all of this was worth it and that I have to be a lot more diligent in my learning Portuguese. So I hope, gentle home cook, that you will make the struggle we suffered that day be not in vain and make this soon.
1 lb bottom round steak, cut into 4 or 5 equal pieces
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten in a shallow pan
Dry, unflavored bread crumbs, spread on a plate
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut in thin slices
For the sauce:
16 oz passata (or 1 28-0z can plum tomatoes passed through a food mill.)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 dried chili, torn in two or 1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes (optional)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
Start the sauce.
Put passata or tomato puree in a medium sauce pan along with the garlic, olive oil and chili (if using) and heat to simmer. Let simmer for about 25 minutes then add the sugar (if using) and salt to taste. Remove from heat and add the whole basil leaves letting them steep for about 5 minutes. Drain well through a sieve pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure all the flavor comes out and scrape the underside of the sieve with a spatula.
Pound the living daylights out of the pieces of steak. You want them thin and tender. I would use the dangerous side of the mallet as will as the flat one. (If you know your butcher, have him/her put them through the tenderizing machine they use for making minute steaks.) Set aside.
Take the garlic and chop in coarsely and add the salt and, with the flat part of the knife, press the mixture firmly, pushing away to smear it on the cutting surface. Do this several times to make a paste.
Rub the resulting paste on both sides of the steaks and set them aside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn each steak in the egg yolks and then in the bread crumbs.
Fry in hot olive oil until brown on both sides.
Place in a baking pan and cover with the sauce and slices of mozzarella. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Let set a few minutes before serving.