You Like Grilled Steak? Try Stuffing It With Cheese

In Tuesday's newsletter about Salsa Roja, I said that it would go really well on a stuffed flank steak recipe that I was probably going to write about today. A promise is a promise, and this one is pretty tasty.

So, why stuffed flank steak, and why now? 1) Looking back on the last few months of newsletters, I think I've only featured like one or two grilling recipes. While I don't think grilling should be confined to any one season (we've made our case for winter grilling), I can't in good conscience let the summer slip away without proposing a fun weekend grilling project. 2) If you eat steak, you've probably been cooking it in various ways over the course of the last few months, but it's very possible that pounded, stuffed, rolled, tied, and grilled is not one of them. 3) I'd call this recipe a "project" in the sense that it perhaps takes a little more effort, technique, and attention than you might normally want to devote to a Tuesday night dinner, but it still only takes 45 minutes, so the satisfaction-to-work ratio remains high.

Here's the rundown: you start with a piece of flank steak and cut it in half the long way (please refer to the likely unnecessary photo below). The sharper your knife, the easier this will be. As is, the two pieces you're now left with won't have enough surface area for stuffing, so you need to flatten them out. This can be done with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a cast-iron skillet. Feel free to let out as much aggression as you want, as long as the steaks end up 1/2-inch thick or less.

Now you spread the stuffing on top; the main recipe here uses a mixture of garlic, fresh oregano and queso asadero cheese (you can substitute queso fresco), but you've got options (more on that below). Then you roll each piece up tight, and tie them up with kitchen twine, which, other than an instant-read thermometer, is really the only "special" equipment you need. If you want, you can get the recipe to this point and toss the rolls in the fridge for a few hours until you're ready to cook. For something stuffed and rolled, the grilling goes pretty quickly. You do it over direct heat, turning every few minutes so the meat caramelizes evenly. For medium rare, you should be looking at no more than 20 minutes. Let 'em rest, slice into rounds (against the grain), and serve.

Before devouring this, you'll notice the nice spiral pattern of the stuffed steak. That will naturally lead you to wonder, "what else can I stuff inside flank steak?" The answer is: A lot. The recipe here includes three variations (mozzarella and basil; prosciutto, parmesan and rosemary; peppery greens and goat cheese), but it's not hard to imagine that the combinations are pretty much endless: Fresh herbs, spices, soft or melty cheeses, olives, capers, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, mustard, horseradish, pesto, you get the idea...

As always, if you come up with some stuffing concoction that you absolutely love, I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend, and I'll see you in September.

—Mark


STUFFED FLANK STEAK


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