Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stuffed Flank Steak Pinwheels

I always get excited when I get my issue of Cooks Illustrated (thanks, mom-in-law!). It is one of those magazines that you have to really read through. There aren't a ton of pictures, and most of them are illustrations. The pages aren't glossy, and there isn't a single advertisement. The recipes are well thought out and definitely were given a LOT of thought. The writers are from America's Test Kitchen after all!

Because of this great attention to detail, sometimes the recipes that result are a little too involved for this cook's taste. I tried making their oven steak fries a couple of times, but the sheer number of steps quickly wore me out.

Recently, however, I was intrigued by the title "The Best Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak". I had a flank steak, I had a grill. It was time to get cooking.

Preparing and filling the steak consists of 6 simple steps.

1. Butterfly the 2-3 pound flank steak (lay it parallel with the counter), leaving 1/2 inch at the top to "hinge" it open.
2. Open the steak up and pound it flat, trimming the rough edges.
3. Rub with your herb mixture, and add your fillings. (see below for what I added).Roll the steak away from you to form a tight log.

4. Place the steak seam-side down and tie with string at 1 inch intervals.
5. Skewer the steak directly through each string. (No, I didn't just turn into a sasquatch. The hubs helped!)
6. Slice the steak between strings into pinwheels.

A couple of extra hints to keep in mind:

1. By butterflying the steak and then pounding it open, you eliminate having to totally pound out the flesh. The butterflying itself was a little tricky for me. The magazine recommends placing the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes before splitting it open.

2. If you don't have butcher twine, and don't want to have to search for it, ask your grocery store butcher. The hubs asked ours for some and came home with about 3 yards.

3. Soak your skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using.

4. Be conservative with your filling amount (have you ever tried to roll an overstuffed burrito?).

I didn't like the recipe that they provided for the stuffing, so I used what I had on hand, sneaking in some of my favorites!

For the herb mixture:
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

For the filling:
these are approximate
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons capers
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

To cook the steaks, place them on your grill (the hubs used the charcoal grill) until they are to your desired doneness. Remove the butcher twine and skewers and enjoy!

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Katy ~ said...

Company worthy! This looks fabulous.

5 Star Foodie said...

A great way to prepare and serve steak! Just beautiful!

Sara said...

Yum, this looks delicious. So fancy too. :)

Reeni said...

These are beautiful little pinwheels! The herby filling looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the technique.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Your pictures are great and your final product looks so top-shelf! You did a fantastic job!

Elra said...

What a delicious Roulade! You just give me an idea what to cook for the week end. Thanks dear!

Kerstin said...

So pretty and flavorful! My hubby would love this dish.

Emily said...

I've never fixed flank steak before, but now I'm eager to try. It looks awesome! Sounds like a good recipe.

Netts Nook said...

What a perfect way to serve flank steak this is a keeper.

Debbie said...

Oh does that flank steak ever look good. So impressive when it is made that way. Just beautiful!

Jackie said...

It looks so fancy. Very nice presentation!

gaga said...

How pretty! And tasty too! I'm bookmarking this for the future, thanks!

1freshstart said...

That looks sooooo good! I want to make it right now, is there something other than goat cheese I can use? I'm allergic.

finsmom said...

Ive never tried rolled flank steak, but it looks excellent! Mouth watering!

Tami said...

This dish looks positively delicious!

comprar yate said...

I found a lot of useful data in this post!

Analyze A said...

This was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO Good! Your pinwheels look a lot better than mine; despite the Cook's Illustrated penchant for helpful illustrations, I'm not exactly spatially coordinated, and let's just say that my pinwheels were not evenly sized. But, it all turned out absolutely fine! And I think I have it figured out now, what I was supposed to do :) Anyway, I made half of mine as the variation that uses spinach and pine nuts instead of the prosciutto. Kenji mentioned using Asiago in that one for his article, so while he didn't say anything about the Asiago in the actual recipe text, I used Asiago with the spinach variation and LOVED it. The funny thing was that my husband and I both strongly preferred one of the variations over the other (he loved the original with prosciutto and provolone, I loved the spinach/pine nuts variation with Asiago), and found the other one's favorite kind of "meh", which I suspect was because of the different flavors of the cheeses. Anyway, this recipe was the BOMB, just amazing decadence on a plate, and it deserves a lot of love :)