Carne alla Pizzaiola is a recipe my mother used to make for us all the time when we were young. "Alla Pizzaiola” translates to “in the pizza style”. The description “alla pizzaiola” is used because the dish contains tomato sauce with oregano, used on pizza, instead of basil, typically used for a classic tomato sauce. This dish is easy enough to make during the week or when you don’t have a ton of time. The meat slices are thin so they tenderize pretty quickly.
2.5 - 3 pounds bottom of the round roast
1/4 cup olive oil
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
28 ounces tomato puree
Slice the roast in quarter inch thick slices. If possible, slice it against the grain of the meat, most of the time this will be in the opposite direction of where the butcher’s main cut was. Add the meat in a large pot and cover with water. Place the covered pot over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and bring it over to the sink. There will be a brownish/grayish froth on the surface of the water. This is blood and fat coming out of the meat. Rinse each slice quickly under running water removing any of film or froth.
While the meat is coming to a boil, add the olive oil and garlic to another large pot or Dutch oven. Once the garlic is golden, add the tomato puree and let simmer. I don't add salt here because the tomato puree is salted and when the sauce cooks down the salt will concentrate. Once the meat is cleaned, add it to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Put the lid of the pot half-way instead of completely covered (prop it up with a wooden spoon if needed). It's important to have the lid half-way because if the pot is covered all the way the water won’t evaporate and the sauce will be watery. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour and a half until the meat it soft and tender but not falling apart. The time will really depend on the tenderness of the meat.
Serve with a side of bread, pasta, or roasted potatoes. I like to lighten it up and serve with a fresh arugula salad or roasted spaghetti squash.