Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Proscuitto and Roasted Pepper Stuffed Flank Steak

Don’t you just love making/being served rolled foods? Sushi rolls, lavash sandwiches, turkey pinwheels and the like? Whimsical and edible. A real touch-your-inner-child delight. It just plain makes me giddy.

Of course, because these are the things that occupy my silly little mind, I do on occasion wonder - presentation wise - if rolled food it isn’t just a little bit over the top. As if someone was trying to impress me with just a splash of color and/or a Martha Stewart/Donna Hay-like flair for making fancy with butchers twine or a bamboo mat, when it all could have been tossed together, slapped on a plate and tasted just the same. I mean, is it really worth their effort? Are we really that impressed?

Hee. I sure am.

Really. Every time. I just love it. My friend are too. (Or so they claimed when I served this!) So my rally call today is, roll up your food my dears! Roll away! So what if it smacks of circa 1986 banquet dinners. The one you really didn’t want to go to in the first place and then out of boredom you had a cocktail or six too many and…oh wait, maybe that was just me…

Oops. I digress.

Joyfully, the rolling and the presentation - in all it’s sassy and fab glory - has a purpose beyond looking swank too you know.(Really, it does!)

It’s a sure fire way to add flavor that haphazardly throwing things into the pan wouldn’t accomplish. (Except in the case of sushi/sandwiches. Natch.) The rolling adds dimension. It tenderizes the meat and adds a umami charged depth. It takes simple steak (in this case) to another faboo level.

So upon seeing it, should your guests coo, ooh or aaah, well, that’s (in the words of the great poet Bobby Brown) their prerogative, but it is in the tasting that they (or you) will really understand how outstanding rolling your food can be.

Try this my peaches, and enjoy!

Special equipment: Butchers twine or Food Loops

1 lb flank steak, pounded thin (to a rectangle-esque shape)
salt and pepper
6 large leaves basil (optional)
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (I used rosemary and oregano)
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips
4-6 slices salty deli/cured meat (I used proscuitto and mortadella)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
4 cloves garlic, sliced
8-10 medium mushrooms, cleaned
1 large onion, diced
1 pat butter
Parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat your oven to 300F

After you pound our flank steak into a large thin rectangle, arrange it on the counter with the long side in front of you.

Salt and pepper the meat.

Evenly layer the next five ingredients over the meat, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides. Try not to pile the stuffing ingredients too high. They are for flavor, not to stars of the show.

Roll the meat and secure with butchers twine (for how to do this, click here)

In a large, oven proof and stove top ready dish, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the meat and sear on both sides until browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Add the wine, beef stock, mushrooms and onions and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Place into the oven and let cook for 45 minutes (this is for medium If you like your meat cooked well, leave it in another 15 minutes)

Remove the meat from the oven and then from the dish. Set aside to rest. Meanwhile, pour the remaining liquid through a strainer into a clean pan. Discard the mushrooms and onion that are left behind, or you can serve them, your choice.

Simmer the liquid over high heat for five minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Skim as much fat off as you can.

Add a pat of butter and allow to reduce further, until thickened, at least five more minutes. If you want to make it more gravy-like add a slurry of 1 teaspoon flour and 1 teaspoon cold water that have been mixed together. Otherwise strain again and serve.

After the meat has rested for 10 minutes, remove the twine and slice.

Serves six to eight


Flank steak substitutes: skirt steak, hanger steak, top round or tri-tip roast

Salami is a term that describes sausage made from ground pork and spices, which is then encased and often cured. Salumi is also made of pork (usually) but denotes a product that has been preserved in salt (and spices) and not encased before aging. However there are examples of Salumi that does use a natural casing, therefore all Salami are Salumi, but not all Salumi are Salami. - Life in Italy.com

The 11th Annual
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is being held October 21st

I was very flattered that this post was included on Slashfood, under the title Food Porn. It is also an entry for DMBLGIT, check it out at Spittoon Extra

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ooh yum yummm. i do, i loved rolled up food!! and there they are again the foodloops i need so bad!
I would've pondered cheese as well :D
This recipe ROCKS! I'm gonna give a run tonight. For others out there, if you print the photo make sure to use color.
I made this last week. It was great. I didn't discard the mushrooms and onions. I took some ground beef and sauted it in the onion mixture adding a bit more salt and pepper and some hot peppers for heat. This I then used as the filling to make empanadas. They also came out great.
After seeing this on Slashfood I decided to make it myself... my family loved it, thanks for the idea! You get check out my post here http://jumboempanadas.blogspot.com/2006/10/imitation-is-form-of-flattery-right.html
Thanks everyone, Im so glad it worked out for you!

And WiMM - There is some parmesan in there for flavor, but I thought slices of cheese would just be overkill...and make it hard to slice...
I finished up cooking and eating this for dinner and it was wonderful. I was very surprised at how well everything blended together. Normally I am not a bell pepper kind of person but when I took my first bite the whole thing just worked. Like others I did not discard the onions and mushrooms, I served them along side the meat and made sure to combine them while eating.

I am putting this dish in my permanent file and will definitely come back and explore it soon, can't wait to cook it for someone besides just myself.

I'll need to work on thickening up the gravy at the end and I think I'll add a little bit of spice to it. But besides that I just want to say again it tasted wonderful and as I sit here finishing up my merlot (which went right along with dinner) I am already thinking about who I can cook it for next. But at least I have a bunch of left overs to get me through the week.
Oh, and I used toothpicks instead of the rope stuff, worked just as well.
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