Another Spin on Stuffed Flank Steak
|You'd think after all that food at the Festa that I wouldn't need to cook (or eat!) again for days.. but alas, Hubbs thought differently. ;)|
After trying and loving my first stuffed flank steak back when he was still working in Arkansas, I really couldn't wait to try it again. To my delight, I saw a bunch of our garden green peppers has turned red and decided that I'd roast them, then figured they'd be delicious stuffed into this surprisingly tender cut of meat. I was also thinking about how one day I'd like to try making braciole, although when I do, I'd prefer to go the more traditional route. But the thought of braising this flank steak in tomato sauce was too good to pass up. Luckily, I had two big containers full of Mama Cream Puff's tomato sauce in my freezer and knew it would be perfect for this dish!
This version was heavenly. The meat was so tender and I didn't even pound it much this time as the cut was pretty thin as it was. I'm thinking I might have to try this cut of steak marinated and grilled next time. The roasted red peppers and spinach paired well with the meat and although I lurve garlic it was a little over powering for me as I sliced it thick so the taste of raw garlic really shined through. Next time I'll mince - or even roast it first and then use a thick layer of roasted garlic paste. The tomato sauce was perfect, as I knew it would be, with that background hit of the pork cooked through it, it was rich and wonderful spooned over the pretty slices.
I served it simply with a side of garlic sauted swiss chard.. ohh how I love Autumn and all it's produce! :D
1 1/2 to 2 lb. flank steak
2 small or 1 large roasted red pepper (See Note)
15-30 leaves fresh baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, thick sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 TBS. olive oil
3 c. of tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Pour the tomato sauce into a roasting pan, and set in oven while it comes up to temp.
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.
Rub the meat with a little olive oil and then season with salt & pepper. Then lay the spinach leaves over the pesto, you can either go with a single layer or double (triple if you wish). Layer strips of roasted red pepper over the spinach and then sprinkle the slices of garlic on top.
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, cutting excess twine off. Rub the rolled meat with a little more olive oil and season all sides with salt & pepper.
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. Carefully remove the pan of tomato sauce from the oven and place seared roast in, spooning sauce to cover. Braise steak for 20-30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140º for medium rare. Let set for at least 5 mintues before slicing. Spoon sauce over slices.
*Note: To roast the red peppers, I simply placed them over one of my gas burners on the stove top to char the skin, turning so all sides char. Then I dropped them into a brown paper bag and let sit for 20 minutes. After they've cooled I peeled them and sliced. Using jarred roasted peppers would also work just as well.