NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #8
THE PITTSBURGH SALAD
The what?? A tough as nails city like Pittsburgh, home of iron and steel, and we’re doing salad? Yeah, I would be wondering the same thing if I hadn’t come across this a few years ago when researching food in Pittsburgh. I admit I’ve never been to the Steel City and other than the famous black and blue Pittsburgh steak (which we will do in another series) I had no idea what the local cuisine was. I came across this crazy idea on many websites. I’m sure if you’re from Pittsburgh and reading this it doesn’t seem crazy at all. Instead of 3 separate food groups we’ve all grown accustomed, meat. starch, and vegetables, why not combine them all into one dish?
That, in essence, is The Pittsburgh Salad. A good old-fashioned steakhouse salad with French fries, shredded cheese, and ranch dressing right on top. Many places serve it with steak or chicken too. So, to be a little more in spirit we will add steak to our salad. Because this is a food and wine website and because I insist on doing everything the hard way we are going to build our salad from scratch. To save time you can do as many residents of Pittsburgh do and buy a pre-made salad or salad kit, baked frozen French fries, bottled ranch dressing and pre-cooked or leftover steak. By doing all the steps you can learn more food preparation and be more of a purist. And that is in the true spirit of one of America’s greatest blue-collar cities, Pittsburgh.
2 medium Russet Potatoes, washed, scrubbed, and dried
Fine Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
¼ cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup Sour Cream
¼ cup Buttermilk
½ TSP White Wine Vinegar
½ TSP Dijon Mustard
1 small Garlic Clove finely chopped
1 TBSP finely chopped Yellow or White Onion
½ TBSP Italian Parsley chopped
1 TSP Chives chopped
8 oz. Hanger Steak or Flank Steak
½ TSP Garlic Powder
½ TSP Paprika
½ medium Red Onion, peeled and sliced thin
½ head of Romaine Lettuce, washed, stemmed, and cut into strips
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
¾ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees F
- Cut the Potatoes (leave the skin on if you like or peel) into wedges like steakhouse fries. Dry with paper towels. Coat with a little Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the Potatoes in a single layer
- Roast until golden brown and crispy. About 30 minutes.
- While the Potatoes roast prepare the dressing. In a bowl combine the Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Buttermilk, Vinegar, Mustard, Garlic, Onion, Parsley, and Chives and stir together until smooth. Set aside.
- While the Potatoes continue to roast rub a little Olive Oil on the Steak. Season with Salt, Pepper, the Garlic Powder, and the Paprika.
- In a cast iron frying pan if you have one heat 1 TBSP Olive Oil over medium high
- Add the steak and sear on the first side about 4 minutes depending on how well done you like your meat and turn over. Sear the other side for about 3 minutes and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest a few minutes.
- In the same pan add more Olive Oil if necessary and heat on medium low. Add the Red Onion, Salt and Pepper to taste, and fry for about 3 minutes to get the Onions a little crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Slice the Steak with the grain into ½ inch strips
- In a large salad bowl combine the Lettuce and Tomatoes. Add the onions and toss a few times.
- Separate into 2 salad plates and top with the Potatoes, then the Steak
- Drizzle your desired amount of Dressing to each plate and then top with the Cheese
Serves two as a light dinner entrée or lunch
WINE PAIRING: This is a type of salad you could really enjoy with your favorite Beer. If you prefer wine like me I would recommend a red over a white as this is a beef dish. I would not go with a full-bodied red as the ranch dressing and salad will be overwhelmed. A lighter red such as a Pinot Noir would be very nice. Even a fruity red such as a Gamay most notably a Beaujolais would even work nicely. As we get into the colder months those wines are just starting to peak. A young Merlot would also be an option.