Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Socca - Beef, Cabbage, & Potato Casserole

One lazy Saturday afternoon, I was flipping through the TV when I came across Lidia Bastianich making dishes from the northern region of Italy. This casserole caught my eye primarily because they used one of my favorite cuts of meat, flat iron steak.

I would have never thought of tossing steak, cabbage, potatoes, wine and a cheese together in a casserole, but let me tell you - it was awesome! The steak was melt in your mouth tender and full of flavor from the herbs, butter, and wine. I roughly halved the recipe below and used a shredded Italian cheese mix in place of the fontina. I also used less butter than called for and certainly did not miss it. This is rich and satisfying and simply perfect for the chilly fall days that I hope are ahead!

Socca - Beef, Cabbage, & Potato Casserole
Lidia Bastianich

About a dozen large fresh sage leaves
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stem
8 plump, peeled garlic cloves
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
2 pounds red skin potatoes, sliced ½ inch
4 pounds boneless, flat iron steak, or beef shoulder roast (preferable a "top blade" or "top chuck shoulder" roast)
1 stick soft butter
1 head of Savoy cabbage, about 2 ½ pounds, cored and sliced ½ inch shreds
2 cups white wine
1 pound shredded fontina

Arrange a rack in the middle of your oven, and heat to 425 degrees. Using a food processor make a fine textured pestata using the sage, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and salt.

Put the potato slices in a bowl with a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a tablespoon of pestata. Toss to well coat the potatoes.

With a sharp knife, slice the beef across the grain into ¾" slices - if using top blade roast, slice it crosswise. As you did with the potatoes, toss the slices of beef with a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons pestata.

Brush the roasting pan with the remaining olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Arrange half the potato slices in a single layer on pan bottom, spread half the cabbage over the potatoes and season with teaspoon salt. Distribute all the beef slices in a single layer over cabbage. (The pan should be about half full: press down on the beef if it looks like there is not enough room from the rest of the vegetables.)

Dot the top of the beef slices with small mounds of butter, using another 3 tablespoons in all. Lay the remaining potato slices over the beef and the top with the remaining cabbage and season with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Mix the remaining pestata with wine and pour over cabbage. Finally, dot the top with the remaining butter.

Tent the baking dish with aluminum foil, arching it above the food and pressing it against the sides of the pan. Set the dish in the oven and bake for 2 ½ hours, until the meat and vegetables are all very tender and almost all the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the foil, and sprinkle the fontina cheese all over the top. Bake another 15 - 20 minutes until the fontina has melted, bubbled, and browned into a crusty topping.

Let the casserole rest 10 minutes before serving
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1 comment:

  1. I have several flat iron steaks horded up in my freezer and seriously need to use them. What a wonderful recipe and one I am going to be making this weekend! Yours looks delicious! =)


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