Stuffed flank steak

I saw a recipe for stuffed flank steak that sounded delicious.  The recipe called for butterflying the flank steak but when I asked the butcher, he said it was already flat enough.  In hindsight, I disagree.  I think the best strategy would be to buy a thicker flank steak and butterfly it.  It was a little bit hard to get it cooked evenly, but it was delicious!

Stuffed flank steak

  • 1 flank steak
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 lb sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 lb Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • fresh basil leaves

Butterfly the flank steak (if possible).  Place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound flat with a meat pounder.  Whisk together shallots, red wine and olive oil and marinate steak between 4 hours and overnight.

Remove steak from marinade and pat dry.  Spread steak with prosciutto and fontina and top with basil leaves.  Roll steak tightly and tie with kitchen twine.  Season with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.

Grill on direct high heat for 10 minutes, turning so steak cooks about 2 1/2 minutes per side.  Move to indirect heat and cook for 20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers done.  Let stand for 5 minutes and slice.

Sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup cabernet
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp honey

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add shallots.  Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add wine and peppercorns and boil until sauce is reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 10 minutes).  Strain into a cup and add honey.  Serve with steak.

I served with roasted potatoes.  I tossed potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil and roasted at 400 for 40 minutes.  Delicious!

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.

Planning around your schedule

I knew that last night was going to be a challenge.  It was back to school night so we needed to be finished dinner and leave the house by 6:30.  That can be a challenge when you don’t get home until close to 6:00.  Tonight was a little easier – no meetings or other activities.  Last night we had the ravioli from the Italian grocery store with homemade tomato sauce from the freezer.  All we needed to do was heat the sauce and boil water for the pasta – that’s enough when you have a hectic schedule.  I tried something new tonight since I wasn’t as pressed – it made enough for leftovers and was delicious.  It’s going to make the do-over list.  Here is my adaptation of a recipe I found for flank steak.  I served it with spinach – I microwave the bag and then dump the contents into a saucepan with 1 minced garlic clove and a teaspoon of melted butter.  Stir to combine.  Quick and delicious.

Flank steak spirals

  • 1 flank steak, pound between layers of wax paper until flattened
  • 3 TB grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 oz dried Porcini mushrooms (reconstitute by cooking in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes – strain and reserve water)
  • 2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 8 chopped sage leaves
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine
Place flattened flank steak on a cutting board.  In a small bowl combine Parmesan cheese, garlic, pepper, rosemary, sage and chopped mushrooms.  Spread evenly on flank steak and roll it up lengthwise.  Tie with string at 1 inch intervals.
In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and cook, turning with tongs about 8 minutes total.  Put meat on a roasting pan and roast at 375 for about 20 minutes for medium rare meat.  remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Remove string and slice.
While steak is in oven, pour red wine into skillet to deglaze.  Boil over high heat about 3 minutes until reduced.  In a saucepan, boil the remaining liquid from the mushrooms for 15 minutes until reduced.  Add wine and cook for 3 more minutes.  Serve sauce with steak.