I grew up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was the closest city, but was still hours away. Occasionally, trends from the Burgh would filter up the mountains to our tiny town. One of those things is the Pittsburgh steak salad.
A Pittsburgh steak salad is basically steak-frites in a salad bowl. It’s hearty and topped with traditional vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Next comes steak, typically flank or skirt, and cheese. When it comes to cheese, there are two options… Shredded sharp cheddar or blue cheese crumbles. I always go with blue cheese, it tastes awesome with the warm steak and I like the funky flavor of blue. The surprise finisher on this salad is fresh cut french fries.
The fries are the best part of this unique salad. They replace the crouton in an unexpected and tasty way. They soak up some of the juice from the steak and Italian salad dressing, while also providing a salty kick. I always fry my fries extra-crispy when making this salad. If done properly, they don’t get soggy at all. The warm-cool texture of the hot steak and french fries, paired with the cool lettuce, cheese, veggies and salad dressing, creates a fantastic contrast in taste. It may not be the most healthy salad in the world, but it sure is a lot of fun and a very delicious!
Pittsburgh Steak Salad
1/2 lb flank steak
6-8 cups baby spinach and baby arugula salad mix
1 large russet potato, for fries
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbles
1-2 carrots, shredded
1/8 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup English cucumbers, sliced
Italian salad dressing
vegetable oil, for frying
salt + pepper
Makes 2 large salads
Wash and slice potato into french fries. Par-fry your fries for 5 minutes at 325 F. Set aside until ready to double fry.
Wash and dry lettuce. Shred carrots and slice cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and red onions. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Turn broiler on high. Season flank steak with salt and pepper and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil for 4-5 minutes on each side, until slightly charred on top. Let steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. When ready to slice, cut against the grain into thin strips.
Preheat oil to 375 and double fry the french fries. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oil, drain on a paper towel and salt immediately.
Divide lettuce into 2 salads and top with shredded carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, blue cheese crumbles, steak, french fries and Italian dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.