Italian Stuffed Flank Steak
|My first time ever trying flank steak. I thought this was suppose to be a cheaper cut of meat? Apparently not at my store. Over $8.00 a pound. A sirloin is cheaper and not tough. Not that this was tough, it was fabulous.. after I pounded the hell out of it. heehee|
Anyhoo.. I got the idea of this recipe from Cuisine at Home (imagine that!). They gave me the idea of stuffing the flank steak, but I decided their 2 versions of stuffing weren't exactly my cup of tea. So I sat here this morning going through other recipes and checking out recipes on the internet and nothing sounded really good. Apparently, a common stuffing for this steak includes bread crumbs and I'm not a big fan of bread crumbs. So I started to think about what sounded good to me and as per usual, sun-dried tomatoes came to mind. As did spinach and garlic and a good melty cheese.. I played with Gouda and Fontina, and decided on the Fontina. I was going to just process some sun-dried tomatoes, but instead went with sun-dried tomato pesto. The combination of the pesto, garlic, spinach and cheese wrapped tightly in a very tasty piece of meat was outrageous. Even though most of the cheese oozed out of the roll. I might just leave the cheese out of the mix next time.
I served this Italian stuffed flank steak with roasted baby yukon gold potatoes, roasted asparagus and sauted mushrooms.. pretty much the usual sides for me. =) I'm pretty good about trying new dishes, but it seems that I stick with the same side dishes most times, eh? lol
1 1/2 to 2 lb. flank steak
1/3 c. tomato pesto
15-30 leaves fresh baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. thinly sliced Fontina or Gouda cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 TBS. olive oil
Preheat oven to 400º F.
If your flank steak is thick, you'll need to butterfly it to thin it out for easier rolling and even cooking. Mine was pretty thin, so I skipped that step. Next lay your steak on a piece of plastic wrap and then lay another piece of plastic wrap over it. Proceed to pound the steak using firm (but not heavy) strokes, pound from one end of the steak to the other with the smooth side of the meat mallet. This will help break down the fibers in the steak to assure a tender bite.
Season the meat and spread the pesto evenly on top. Then lay the spinach leaves over the pesto, you can either go with a single layer or double (triple if you wish). Sprinkle the garlic over the spinach and finally the cheese over the garlic.
Next, starting from a short side, roll the meat over the filling all the way to the end. Don't be surprised if some of the filling falls out, just tuck it back in and continue rolling. To hold the stuffed steak together, it must be tied. Cut five or six pieces of kitchen twine (about 14" each) and tie the steak using double knots.
Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat until it's good and hot. Sear steak on all sides in olive oil, ending with seam side down. Place the pan in the oven and roast steak for 30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140º for medium rare. To be honest.. I kinda screwed up thinking I was looking for 120º - so when I checked temp. at 25 minutes it was there.. I took it out and after letting it rest for 10 minutes, when I sliced it.. it was more like medium-medium well except for the very middle of the roll. Next time I'll only roast for about 15 minutes as I prefer my steak to be more on the rare side. I think that had to do with my steak being on the thinner side even before I pounded it.
This rather fiberous steak was not tough in the least, it had superb flavor and the stuffing complimented the beef really well. I was very happy with this dish and will most definitely make it over and over again. =)
If anyone is interested in Cuisine at Home's Argentine and All-American stuffed versions, just let me know and I'll e-mail the recipes to you. =)