Steak and Potato Pizza with Beer Braised Mushrooms

Every Saturday has been pizza night for as long as I can remember. Yes, the summer gets hot and it may get missed, but for the most part, Saturday and homemade pizza are inexorably linked. It was one of the first things I learned to make as a kid. I also remember the times my dad would do weekend barbecues, marinating his tough cuts of steak for days and transforming them into tender treats. Today I wanted to combine those two memories into one. Steak and Potato Pizza.

Firstly, incorporating potato into a pizza can be tricky. I’ve had pizza places try mashed potato spread on the crust or thin slices of potato that get inedibly crisp and chewy. Neither worked for me. I decided to incorporate actual mashed potato into the dough itself. It adds tenderness, subtle potato flavour and body to the crust. And on a crisp autumn day, a hearty addition to pizza night is welcome.

Next, the steak. Instead of my dad’s endless marinade that made a wonderful steak, I opted for a striploin with a flavourful spice rub, grilled rare before going on the pizza since it would cook more in the oven.

Finally, any steak benefits from a nice mushroom topping of some kind and a good beer. I modified another recipe from my dad for Paprika Mushrooms. Basically, sear some chopped mushrooms, sprinkle them with paprika and simmer in enough liquid to cover. Mostly, it’s just water, but this time, I simmered it in a locally produced ale.

Here’s to the best of any weekend. Steak, potatoes, pizza and beer. Pardon me while I have a masculine moment and grunt unintelligibly. Cheers!

Steak and Potato Pizza with Beer Braised Mushrooms

For the Potato Dough:

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp milk

5 cups Red Fife flour (Red Fife is a heritage variety of wheat that is characterized by its higher protein content suitable for breads. If you can’t find it, try a whole grain bread flour)

1 tsp salt

1-3/4 cup warm water

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp yeast

   In a small pot, add the potatoes, enough water to cover and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until tender. Drain and mash the potatoes, add the butter and milk and mash further until smooth and creamy.

   In a large bowl, add the flour. Make a depression in the centre of the flour, creating a well for the wet ingredients. Sprinkle the other teaspoon of salt around the edge of the dry ingredients. Add the creamed potatoes into the well with the water, maple syrup and yeast. Lightly stir together the wet ingredients and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast gets bubbly. Stir together further until a dough starts to come together. Dump the dough and residual flour from the bowl on the counter and knead for a further 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and only slightly sticky (the maple syrup will have a lingering stickiness so don’t worry). Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour. While the dough is rising proceed with the other components.

For the Beer Braised Mushrooms:

2 cups mushrooms, chopped coarsely

2 tsp cold pressed canola oil

1 tsp butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika

1/2 cup brown ale (just find a place for the rest of the bottle. Oh, I don’t know, drink it, maybe?) 😉

   In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches). Sear all sides of the mushrooms until deeply golden brown. Add the red onions and sauté for a further 3-4 minutes to soften the onions. Sprinkle with paprika, toss to coat all of the mushrooms and onions and immediately add the ale. Simmer and stir occasionally until the ale is absorbed and reduces into a thick sauce around the mushrooms. Set aside to cool.

For the Spice Rubbed Grilled Steak:

1 225g/8 oz beef striploin steak

2 tsp Creole Spice Mix (or your favourite Cajun seasoning)

   Preheat a grill to high (I just used my indoor grill. For an outdoor one, just use medium high heat. It runs hotter than an indoor grill). Brush the grill with oil and grill the steak for 3-4 minutes per side to sear and cook the steak to a rare doneness. Set aside to rest.

For the pizza:

1/3 of the Prepared Potato Dough (divide the rest into buns, allow them to rise for an hour and bake for 10-12 minutes in the same oven after making the pizza)

Prepared Beer Braised Mushrooms

Prepared Spice Rubbed Grilled Steak, thinly sliced

6 Tbsp of your favourite pizza sauce (I just whisk together 1-180mL can tomato paste, 150mL water, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 Tbsp fresh oregano)

75g/3 oz gruyere cheese, grated

75g/3 oz herb and garlic flavoured gouda cheese, grated (or another flavoured cheese of your choice)

   Preheat oven to 190C/375F.

   Take a baking sheet, invert it so the bottom is facing up. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp oil and spread the surface completely with it. It shouldn’t be runny with oil, just a light film. Divide the dough in half and stretch each into rough 24cm/8″ circles. Set them on the prepared, inverted baking sheet. Spread each with pizza sauce, a sprinkling of the herb and garlic gouda cheese, the Beer Braised Mushrooms and evenly spread out some of the sliced Spice Rubbed Grilled Steak. Finish with a light sprinkling of grated gruyere and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the bottom and edges are golden. Makes 2-24cm/8″ pizzas with extra dough for buns (or just triple the recipe for all of the toppings and make 6 pizzas.

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