Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak & Easter Pizza Rustica

Nana and I decided to change it up a bit this week.  I chose to test the Pepper Steak recipe and she prepared a post on the incredible rustic pie that was one of the many delicious dishes she treated us to this Easter.

Per Tricia:

Truth be told, we don't enjoy filet mignon all
that often.  And when we do, it is typically
cooked by someone else ~ as in a restaurant chef :)

Yes, price is a factor as to why it is not on my
 grocery list, but it also involves the fact that I do not
do a fabulous job cooking steaks. 
Messing up or even just delivering "mediocre" results
 doesn't seem to do the ingredients I have
stayed away from steaks.  

My husband and sons, however, enjoy them
immensely and usually consider any steak that
makes it off the grill to be a victory. 
An appreciative bunch indeed.

And that appreciation was rewarded with this recipe. 
 So stunningly simple. 
 Plus, a nice chance to break out the single distillery
cognac that was waiting to be tested.

The result was nothing short of spectacular.
  So fabulous and eaten with such pleasure and gusto....
that I am quite certain I will be treating my fellas
 to this one again in the near future.
   They loved the sauce, they loved the pepper, they loved
that when I followed Dorie's cooking times.....
the meat turned out perfectly.

A new recipe and some new found confidence. 
 Another victorious French Friday !

Per Nana:

I am taking a break from cooking this week,
 so I do not plan to make this week's recipe of Pepper Steak. 
 I am, however, going to share our family tradition
 and recipe for "Easter Pizza Rustica".

This is one of those recipes handed down
 from generation to generation. 
Grandma Bessie would make this every Easter
 and we would wait patiently for Saturday 
noontime, when we were allowed to "dig in". 
 According to religious tradition, we were not
 supposed to eat meat before noon.

Hubby and I finally took over the task about
20 years ago, but we could never manage to have
 the dough turn out like Grandma's. 
I gave up trying for a few years and last year
I decided to try purchasing dough from the
 local pizza parlor and voila - it worked beautifully.

The recipe is very simple: 
  • 1 lb procuitto   Sliced about 1/4" thick  (Domestic will do fine)  Chop roughly in cuisinart.
  • 1 lb dry Italian sausage (chopped)
  • 3 lbs whole milk riccotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 lbs scamuchatto cheese,  grated on box grater .   This cheese is also known as" basket"  cheese or "fresh"  cheese.  
  • 12 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk (reserve for crust)

 Mix all ingredients together.
Roll out 1 piece of pizza dough and place it in
 a large springform pan.   I use a 13" x 9" pan. 
Have some french clothespins or kitchen clips handy
to hold the dough to the sides of the pan until you can fill it.
  Trust me, this dough springs back so fast you would not believe it.
Fill the pan with the above mixture and sprinkle with
 grated parmesan cheese before putting the top crust on. 
 When using the second piece of dough, you may want to trim
 it to fit so that the crust top is not too thick.  

Brush the top with the reserved beaten egg yolk for a nice glaze. 
Cut 5 or 6 three inch slits in the crust.
  Place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about an hour.
  If the crust is browning too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil.


  1. Tricia, I bet your boys and husband are glad you've mastered the art of cooking steaks now, so they can look forward to more meat treats like this. And Nana, that Easter Pizza Rustica looks simply amazing, I've never seen anything like it nor have I seen a rectangular springform pan that large!

  2. I'm impressed...all great looking cooking...looks like the work of great cooks. Thanks for sharing your Easter tradition...wonderful!

  3. Your steak looks amazing! And the Easter Pizza Rustica looks great too - I've never seen a recipe like it.

  4. Both dishes look great! And, Tricia, I feel your anxiety with making steak. I felt the same way but found this dish truly amazing. I really enjoyed it!

  5. Yeah! You posted the rustica - I have been thinking about that ever since Tricia posted it. It looks great.
    Glad you all enjoyed the steaks! Yum

  6. Ooh, that Easter pizza looks fantastic! Bookmarking it!

    The steak looks delicious too! I prefer to order steak at a restaurant too but it was fun to do it myself for once.

  7. Both of these dishes look amazing! Thanks for sharing a treasured family recipe with us Nana!

  8. This one is definitely one to win a guys heart! Great job! That pie looks fantastic!

  9. Great job both of you. Nana, you have me drooling. I'm going to have to try that dish!

  10. Nana, the Pizza Rustica looks amazing! And Tricia, I'm so happy you mastered the art of making steak.

  11. Both dishes look fantastic! I've never had pizza rustica (although I have Italian heritage, it's not part of our repertoire) but this inspires me to try it someday.

    I confess I don't really love filets mignons - too little taste for too little money - but I think I'm going to like them this way! I'm waiting for my traveling husband to get home before I make this.

  12. Tricia, Your steak looks fabulous!! I'm sure everyone enjoyed this weeks FFWD. Nana we have Italian family members who use to make Pizza Rustica!! Love it! Thanks for sharing your family recipe!

  13. Nana, I've been meaning to try to make pizza rustica for a while now and your shortcut is fantastic. Tricia, I feel I still need a little more practice with my steaks, even with Dorie's timing guide. Glad you nailed it for the boys in your life. The multicolored peppercorns are lovely too!

  14. Tricia, I'm glad you were up to the challenge of the steak. Looks like it came out perfectly.
    Nana, that pizza rustica looks AMAZING.

  15. Tricia- I think you've got the hang of cooking up a perfect steak with an amazing peppercorn, cognac, creamy flavor, thanks to Dorie's recipe
    Nana, that pizza rustica looks like it would have been difficult to wait until noon to dig into.
    Great posts this week, thanks for sharing;-)

  16. Tricia...fabulous steak! Wow, and your sauce is just perfect, too. I think you can now put steak grilling on your resume, don't you? Sure looks like it from mouth is watering just seeing the photos. the Easter Pie...I made something similar to this with my Modern Baker Group (here is the post on it: and my guys just loved it. I liked the idea of it, but it was too strong in the meats for me, so now I think I would like to make your version here so that I can compare the two...yours looks more like something I would enjoy actually, not so strong on the heavy meats. Thanks, I will give it a try! Wonderful photos of it...looks delicious.

  17. This steak recipe is no fail, for sure. We'll be having it again soon.

    Thanks, Nana, for sharing your Easter pie recipe. I love hearing about family traditions.

  18. My family loves steak as well!
    I've always felt I don't do it justice though!
    Your steak looks great.
    And totally love your nana's easter pie. I'm going to have to give it a try!

  19. Both entrees sound wonderful. I'll wager your family loved them both. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. Great job on the steaks and sauce, tricia! We loved this dish as we are steak aficionados! Nana, your Easter pizza rustica looks fabulous-thanks for sharing your family recipe.

  21. Your steak looks great! And I can't wait to try making Nana's Pizza Rustica. That looks fabulous. Merci for the recipe.

  22. Tricia, looks like someone will have to get a second job to keep your boys in steak! Especially now that you can cook them expertly. They look amazing!! Nana, your rustica is a thing of beauty. What an amazing Easter treat.