When You Can't Decide Between Steak Or Pizza, Make Steak Pizzaiola

After a long day, the question of what will be for dinner can feel almost as monumental as dismantling an atomic bomb. On busy weeknights, comfort food is a solid fallback. "Pizza?" your already-tired brain asks. "Or steak?" Decision fatigue is setting in. You've accomplished so much today, and now that you're home, this final conundrum threatens to make you lose your cool. Introducing: Steak pizzaiola. No decision-making is necessary. It'll curb both your steak and your pizza cravings, and it's a one-pot meal to boot. No stress and no mountain of dishes to wash later on. Just you, your hot pizza-steak dinner, and the entire evening ahead of you to enjoy.

Steak pizzaiola is a sort of culinary Frankenstein's monster, but more delicious than spooky. Conceptually, it harkens back to microwave English muffin pizzas with pre-sliced pepperoni and a kid-sized handful of shredded mozzarella. Steak pizzaiola, however, takes a more mature, elevated approach to the well-beloved, reimagined pizza idea. Per The Kitchn, the dish was originally created as a thrifty way to put leftover pizza sauce to good use. According to the traditional Italian food blog Nonna Box, pizzaiola originated as a Neapolitan working-class dish. Plus, thanks to steak pizzaiola's sauce-heavy plating, cheaper cuts of meat will work just fine for this recipe. (Hello, budget-friendly weeknight comfort meal.) Here's how to make it.

An affordable dish that doesn't cut corners on flavor

First things first: Steak pizzaiola doesn't actually look like pizza at all. The dish consists of steak chunks covered with a thick pizza sauce, not a far cry from chicken parmesan. To make steak pizzaiola, simply stew cuts of meat until tender. The Kitchn recommends using sirloin, while Martha Stewart suggests using chuck steak. Nonna Box, however, recommends the traditional Sicilian version uses beef shoulder. But whichever cut you choose, the most important part is how you cook it. For tougher cuts of meat like these, a low, slow braise is the name of the game. Admittedly, steak pizzaiola isn't the type of weeknight meal that'll be ready in an instant, but it shines in the realms of price point and craving satisfaction. 

After your steak is tender, all that's left to do is make pizza sauce. The fundamental ingredients are tomatoes, herbs, and garlic, but you can get creative here. Pizza sauces are one of the more forgiving varieties in the sauce world. In celebrity chef, Lidia Bastianich's version, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, and canned tomatoes all get stewed together and served with the steak for a finished flavor profile reminiscent of everything-topping pizza. Food Network adds pepperoncini into the mix. To complete the meal, serve with a simple green salad, crusty bread, focaccia, or undressed tagliatelle. Plus, states The Kitchn, braised meat usually reheats quite well for leftovers the next day.