Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stuffed Flank Steak

This is a recipe that began with a dish my mother used to make, and has been liberally "tweeked" over the years.

The prep work takes a bit of time, but there is really nothing very difficult in any of the steps.

Set aside about and hour and a half (from start to table) and try this one, you'll be amazed at just how elegant a dinner you can make!

1 1/2 to 2 pound flank steak
1 large carrot
1 shallot
1 cup raw rice (I use Basmati)
2 cups warm water
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsp beef bullion
4 to 6 medium mushrooms

Mix the bullion with the warm water in the measuring cup.
Peel the shallot and the carrot (or just scrub the carrot), cut both into fine dice (about 1/4 inch pieces).
Clean the mushrooms and slice very thin
Heat oil in heavy sauce pan; saute shallot, carrot and mushrooms slightly
Add raw rice and "toast" for about 3 minutes -- keep the rice moving so it doesn't burn
Add bullion/water mixture to pan and simmer until rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed (about 10 to 15 minutes)
Cool rice mixture for about 10 minutes

While the rice is cooling, heat oven to 350 degrees

On a cutting board, lay out steak covered with plastic wrap (the plastic wrap keeps the mess level down while you beat it)

Use a meat pounder WITHOUT teeth (those just tear the fibers). If you don't have one of these, a wine bottle will work, or the edge of a heavy pottery platter.

Pound the meat to tenderize and thin it out.

Once the meat has been pounded, spread a layer of the cooled rice mixture over the meat.

Roll the meat with the rice mixture inside like a jelly roll and tie with string.

(There will be extra rice mixture left, save it to use as a side dish)

On the stove top, heat a heavy skillet (I use my large cast iron one)

Transfer meat to the pan and brown

Be sure to brown all sides of the roll. Use tongs or a large spatula to turn the meat so you don't poke holes in it and let the juices "leak" out.

Once all sides are brown, bake for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on how rare you like your beef and how thick the roll is -- we like our beef pretty rare)

When the meat comes out of the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes, then slice in about 3/4 inch slices for serving.

You can make a pan gravy with the juices and serve the extra rice mixture on the side.

A green veggie or a nice salad (or both!) go well with this and make a very attractive and healthy meal.

The left overs reheat nicely in the microwave. From time to time I've cut up the left overs and made "at home" TV dinners for the freezer for those evenings when we don't feel like cooking.

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