Not for the faint of heart!

I thought it would be fun to try something new tonight and I wanted something that would make leftovers.  I decided on a stuffed flank steak based on a recipe I found in a magazine.  Let me just tell you that this was not the easiest thing in the world.

The premise of stuffed flank steak is simple – you take the nice flat steak (made flatter by the fact that you have “butterflied” it open) and spread stuff on it and then you roll it up.  I have made chocolate peanut butter pinwheel cookies at Christmas for years and made a Buche de Noel cake many times.  Both of those require rolling and in my experience, rolling sounds easier when described than it is in practice.  The flank steak proved to be no exception.  In fact, the first effort was such a mess that I took it apart, took the filling out, washed and dried the meat and started over with smaller amounts of stuffing.  Next time (and there will be a next time after a sufficient recovery period), I will know to start smaller.  Here is what I would do next time (it did taste good):

Stuffed flank steak

  • 1 flank steak (about 2 pounds), butterflied (slice the steak in half horizontally to about an inch from the edge and spread flat) I would recommend covering it with plastic wrap and pounding it a little to get it flatter and a little more even.  I didn’t do that this time but will next time.  I might even ask my friend at the butcher to do the butterflying for me.
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and dried
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 TB fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1/3 lb sliced Provolone cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach

Puree peppers, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, shallot, garlic and thyme in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.

Spread steak open and season with salt and pepper.  Spread with sliced Provolone cheese, spinach and pepper puree in that order.  (I started with more of all of these ingredients and could not get the steak to roll.  Next time I’ll start with smaller quantities and I think I’ll put some plastic wrap over it after the cheese and spinach and flatten with a rolling pin before I cover with the red pepper puree.  Plastic wrap or parchment paper under the steak would also make the rolling easier.)

Starting with the short end, roll the steak as tightly as you can.  Tie at 1 inch intervals with kitchen string and brush with more olive oil.  Refrigerate until ready to cook.  Cook at 450 for about 40 minutes and remove from oven.  Check temperature with a thermometer – ours was 140 which was higher than I would like.  120 would be better.  If underdone, you can cover with aluminum foil for a few minutes to bring up the temperature.  I served it with 1/2 baked sweet potato each.  Here is a picture (I thought about taking a picture of the mess but wasn’t in the mood.)

You can see that the one piece is pretty short on filling.  That is part of having it uneven and not being a great roller.  It is advertised as being a good company dinner but I definitely need more practice before trying it on company.  This is one of those where the ingredients are fairly simple, the taste is good but it would definitely be stressful trying to pull this together for company without at least one trial run.