A twist on your old Italian favourite bursting with bite
- 200g (7oz) bavette steak, thinly sliced
- 50g (1¾oz) cornflour
- About 4tbsp vegetable oil
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2tsp beef extract
- 60g (2¼oz) good-quality onion jam
For the base
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 500g (1lb 2oz) all-butter puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
- 1 egg yolk
- 1tbsp double cream
For the sour onions
- 3 small red onions
- 100ml (3½fl oz) cider
- 100ml (3½fl oz) cider vinegar
- 50g (1¾oz) demerara sugar
- For the crème fraîche topping
- 75g (2¾oz) crème fraîche
- 75g (2¾oz) soft blue cheese, such as dolcelatte, at room temperature
- 1tbsp finely chopped chives
- Fresh watercress, to finish
Start with the base. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a circle of approximately 28cm (11in) in diameter. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
To make the sour onions, start by cutting the peeled onions into wedges, leaving the root on so they remain intact – they should be about the size and shape of orange segments. Place the cider, cider vinegar and demerara sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and add the onions.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Turn the onions over and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft. Remove the onions from their cooking liquid and place on a baking tray. Give them a blast with a blowtorch or under a hot grill until charred around the edges. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Take the pastry out of the fridge and pierce all over with a fork. Mix together the egg yolk and double cream and brush this on top. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry rises and is crisp and golden. Turn the oven down to 110°C/fan 90°C/gas ½ and continue to ‘dry’ the pastry out for 15 minutes. Be careful that it doesn’t burn!
While the pastry’s baking, cook the beef. Dust the steak strips in cornflour, shaking off any excess. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the steak and fry until crisp; this will take 6-8 minutes. You may need to fry the meat in batches to brown it properly. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and cayenne pepper while warm.
Once the pastry is crisp and dried out, remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn the oven back up to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Brush the pizza base with the beef extract. Spread a layer of onion jam on top, add the beef and return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
Put the crème fraîche and blue cheese into a mixing bowl and whisk until thick. Fold in the chives and season – if the mixture’s too thick, add a little water to loosen it up.
Cover the top of the pizza with the charred red onions. Spoon some of the crème fraîche and blue cheese mixture on top, scatter on some watercress and serve.
Extracted from Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, published by Absolute Press, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, £25. Order at www.mailbookshop.co.uk, p&p is free for a limited time only. Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes is on Fridays at 9pm on BBC2.