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Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak with Arugula and Apple Salad

Thursday, 11 Jun 2009
 

steakplate

This stuffed flank steak is a wonderful recipe my friend Gigi made for us when we visited in London.  I understand it’s not easy in the UK to find flank steak cut the way we usually find it in the US, but Gigi managed to come up with one somehow, and we got to reap the benefits.

I have not remained entirely true to the way this recipe is supposed to be made, just  because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand and had to improvise a little bit — after all, the blog isn’t called “Recipe Mashups” for nothing.

Gigi recommends using goat cheese with rosemary and rosemary-crusted salami for stuffing the steak, and I can vouch the results of that combination are amazing.  However, I didn’t have goat cheese, so I put together a mixture of cream cheese and shredded mozzarella with fresh chopped rosemary and basil from my mini herb garden.  I didn’t have salami, either, so used prosciutto instead.  These substitutions worked out fine, but I did miss the goat cheese flavor a little.   Also, Gigi served this steak with asparagus, and that was a delicious combination.  I just didn’t happen to have any around tonight.

Without further ado, here’s my attempt to put this into a recipe.  I hope Gigi will chime in with her preferred way of doing things if she sees that my instructions have gone terribly awry.

Cheese-Stuffed Flank Steak
(Serves 4)

1.25 lb. flank steak
½ cup goat cheese (or creamy cheese of your choice)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped herbs (rosemary or basil work well)
4 slices salami or prosciutto (or more if you prefer more of these flavors)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
olive oil
soy sauce
seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s)

Preheat the oven or broiler to high heat.  (Because you have to handle the steak gingerly after it’s stuffed, I seasoned it before I stuffed it – it’s really just a matter of preference what order you do things, though.) Season the outside of the steak with a dash or two of soy sauce.  Mix together the garlic with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and smear it on both sides of the steak. Season with seasoned salt.

Using a very sharp knife, cut open the flank steak starting from one side to form a pocket throughout the entire middle of the steak without breaking through the walls.  Line the pocket with the salami slices. Mix together the cheese and fresh herbs. Spread the cheese evenly throughout the inside of the steak on top of the salami layer.

If cooking on the grill, place the steak on a layer of heavy duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil) on the grill, to keep the cheese from seeping out all over your grill.  Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes at high heat (my grill was at about 550 degrees), turning once, for medium rare steak.  For your cooking time, be sure to take into account that the stuffing means that the center of the steak may take a little longer to get done than it would otherwise.  I’m guessing the cooking time in a broiler is similar – it’s just one of those things where you need to keep an eye on it to get it to your preferred doneness.

When the steak is done, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it up across the steak so you get cross sections of the stuffing.  Between the melted cheese and all the juice from the meat, it’s hard to keep this looking “pretty” for serving, but it sure does taste good!  And if you have any left, it makes a great hot sandwich the next day.

And now for some illustrations…

cheese2

Here’s the cheese mixture prepared for stuffing the steak.

steakcut

This is the seasoned flank steak cut open for stuffing.  Make sure you have a really sharp knife to keep the slicing on track.

steakstuffed

Here’s what the steak looks like once it’s stuffed.

steakgrill

Grill time.  The grill was so hot that I still got some nice grill lines through the foil, and the cheese didn’t even leak out of the steak.  I worked a big spatula under the steak to turn it and that didn’t disturb the steak too much.

steakcuttingboard

Here’s the steak ready to cut — nice and juicy.

steakslices

These slices are toward one end of the steak, where the stuffing is just beginning.  The middle slices proved a little harder to keep intact.

steak2

Here’s another view of it on the plate.

salad1

As for the salad, I thought it would be nice to have something fresh and tangy on the side to offset the richness of the steak.  It’s simply a mixture of arugula (or “rocket” as they call it in the UK), and apples and red onions both sliced paper-thin.  I dressed it with my default lime-dijon vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 small lime
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Almost forgot– a loaf of nice crusty French or Italian bread goes really well with the steak and salad. And that’s it for this meal!



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