Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flank Steak Roulade

Food cravings are strange, and sometimes can't be traced to any particular source.  A few weeks ago, I had the sudden urge to make some meat stuffed with some stuff.  No idea where the desire came from, only that it occupied so much of my brain I knew I had to get it on the table quick.  I thought of things that I like to put on top of my steak- mushrooms, onions, blue cheese.  Put those inside a lovely piece of meat, that should be super yummy!!  And it was.  And you can do it too! 

This recipe is one of those that at first glance seems time-consuming, but it's relatively quick and quite simple.  Pound some meat, throw some stuff on it, roll it up and tie it, then sear and roast.  Rest, slice, eat.  Reminds me of the double oinker. You want to add nuts? Go for it.  Don't like stinky cheese?  It's not absolutely necessary.  Don't like to shroom?  Forget about em.  Wanna get weird?  It's your dinner, not mine. 

Is it French or Italian?  Roulade is from the french verb 'rouler', which means to roll.  Braciole is Italian, and in most parts of Chicago pronounced bra-zhool.  The latter uses thinner pieces of steak, so let's go Francois for this dish. 

Remember the Simpsons when Homer asked the waiter for their finest food stuffed with their second finest food?  "Excellent choice sir, lobster stuffed with tacos."

Flank Steak Roulade
serves 4-6

2 lb flank steak
4 oz cremini mushrooms
4 oz shiitake mushrooms
1 medium onion, small dice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 C loosely packed fresh baby spinach
2 TB breadcrumbs
2 TB fresh parsley, chopped
2 oz blue cheese

Fire up the oven to 350F.  Get your meat out of the fridge so it will warm up while you prep.

In a large skillet over medium heat, toss in the mushrooms.  Yes, a dry skillet, and don't crowd them, spread them in a single layer so they can brown properly.  Let them brown on one side for a couple minutes and they will release some moisture.  Stir and continue to cook for another minute or so, and then you can add a few TB's of EVOO.  Add the onion next, cook for about 6 minutes or until nicely softened.  Then comes the garlic, only for 30-60 seconds- stirring during this time.  Don't burn the garlic!  Remove from the heat and empty into a bowl to cool slightly.

Back to the stovetop goes the skillet, add the spinach and a splash of water.  Stir and then cover, cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach has wilted.  Add to the reserved bowl.  Try to separate as much as possible, cooked spinach likes to clump.

Spread a few layers of plastic wrap on a board, then place your meat, cover with a couple more layers of wrap.  Using a mallet, rolling pin, or skillet, pound to about 3/4" thickness.  Season both sides with S&P.  Ditch the plastic, then slide a few strands of kitchen twine underneath the meat.  Evenly layer the onion and shroom mixture, then add the blue cheese. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and parsley. 

Roll up your flank steak from one side, tie the strings to keep all the goodies inside.  Sear over high heat in a heavy cast-iron skillet for 2-3 minutes per side, then place in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes for medium-rare, depending on the size and shape of your meat log. 

Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing, you don't want to lose all the delicious jus.  A red wine would pair well- a cab or syrah perhaps. 

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