Friday, September 16, 2016

Bistecca Alonzo

     Ribeye Steak Alonzo!
     Bistecca Alonzo is another recipe that has nearly become a forgotten relic of the past.  To be more precise, the name of this recipe is now rarely used to describe this steak entrée.  On a modern speciale di giorno menu board, today's steak entrée title usually reads as "Beef Steak with Garlic, Peppers and Tomato Sauce."  In years past, many chefs called this steak entrée by the name "Steak Alonzo."
     How did today's steak recipe get its name?  The answer lies in the context of the name itself.  The Italian name Alonzo basically translates to "Brave Victor."  That is food for thought!  The name "Alonzo" is a variation of the Italian name "Alphonso."  The name "Alonzo" has a casual context, while "Alphonso" is the formal spelling.  Steak Alonzo actually is a casual variation of a classic Italian American recipe called Steak Alphonso.    
     Steak Alphonso is a beef steak that is topped with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella cheese and sautéed bell peppers.  Steak Alphonso is usually presented nicely and it is served at formal fine dining  restaurants.  A recipe example of Steak Alphonso can be seen at my Classic Cuisine Website.  Here is the link:  Bistecca Alfonso.
     The casual variation of Steak Alphonso is Steak Alonzo.  The only difference is that Steak Alonzo has no mozzarella cheese melted on the tomato sauce and the presentation style is more casual.  In other words, Steak Alonzo is a hearty working class version of Steak Alphonso.  Steak with garlic, peppers and tomato sauce (Steak Alonzo) is usually offered at casual Italian restaurants and classic American diners in the northeast.
     The Steak Alonzo tomato sauce is made to order with Italian dry red wine and hand squeezed imported Italian San Marzano Tomatoes that are packed in their own juices.  San Marzano Tomatoes are so good, that a minimum of cooking time is required.

     Garlic Peppers and San Marzano Tomato Sauce (a la minute):
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     For Steak Alonzo, the sauce is usually made while the steak is cooking.  If you prefer a rare to medium rare steak, then start the sauce first. 
     The juice from a can of San Marzano Tomatoes is so rich, that it looks like tomato puree!  The can label should read something like "Pelato di Pomodoro San Marzano con Basilico."
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/4 cups of imported Italian canned whole San Marzano Tomatoes and a proportion of their own juices in a small mixing bowl.
     Squeeze the tomatoes by hand, till they are crushed into small pieces.
     Set the hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 2 to 3 thin sliced garlic cloves.
     Sauté till the garlic is a golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 of a red bell pepper that is cut into long strips.
     Add 1/2 of a green bell pepper that is cut into long strips.
     Sauté the peppers till they are al dente.
     Step 4:  Add 1/3 cup of Italian dry red wine.
     Rapidly simmer till the volume of wine reduces by half.
     Step 5:  Add the reserved hand crushed San Marzano Tomatoes.
     Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin tomato sauce consistency and the peppers are tender.
     Step 7:  Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil while stirring the sauce.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Bistecca Alonzo:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.
     Step 1:  Select a 12 to 14 ounce Ribeye Steak.  (The steak in the photos was a Certified Black Angus Ribeye.)
     Lightly brush the steak with blended olive oil.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a chargrill or cast iron ribbed griddle to a medium/medium high temperature.
     Place the steak on the grill.
     Grill the steak on both sides.  Try to flip the steak, so nice looking crosscheck marks appear.
     Cook the steak to the desired finished temperature.
     Step 3:  Place the steak on a wire screen roasting rack and let it rest for 1 minute.
     Place the steak on a plate.
     Step 4:  Use tongs to gather the peppers from the reserved pan of tomato sauce.
     Mound the peppers on the back half of the steak.
     Spoon the remaining tomato sauce in the pan over the peppers and steak.
     Step 5:  Garnish the plate with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with a vegetable and potato of your choice.  (Descriptions of the vegetables in the pictures are written below.)
     Serve with garlic bread on the side!
     Romano Potatoes:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Blanch 4 thick potato slices.
     Drain off the water.
     Step 2:  Brush the blanched potato slices with olive oil.
     Place the potato slices on a roasting pan.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of Pecorino Romano Cheese on each potato slice.
     Step 3:  Bake in a 350ºF oven till the potatoes are golden brown.

     Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta: 
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Blanch 4 brussel sprouts.
     Drain off the water.
     Cut the blanched brussel sprouts in half.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of small chopped pancetta.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped onion.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Gently sauté till the brussel sprouts become al dente.

     Bistecca Alonzo is a tasty steak recipe!

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