Italian Stuffed Flank Steak

Stuffed Flank SteakNon-Conformist Easter

When you have a holiday that involves a traditional food, it is easy to get bored. (Except Thanksgiving. You don’t mess with Thanksgiving.) For me, it’s Easter.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things that I love about Easter but for some reason, this holiday more than any other makes me food-fidgety. (Yup. That’s a technical term.)

My sister hosts our Easter get togethers. Sometimes it’s brunch. Sometimes it’s dinner and, from time to time, it’s yelling in a clown’s mouth on the road to a soccer tournament.

This year our extended family is having brunch, which means that I will be doing my own thing for dinner. I’ve decided I’m going to go against all tradition and cook beef.

I have a large collection of recipe pages from classes at Tante Marie in the city. They are in plastic sheet covers, housed in 3-ring binders, and for the most part they sit on my shelf. From time to time, I flip through them looking for a particular recipe or inspiration. Last weekend I was thumbing through the pages when I saw one of my favorite recipes—Italian Stuffed Flank Steak. I decided then and there that I must make it for Easter dinner because: I’m just not all that excited about roasting a Leg of Lamb, it is so stinkin’ great, and Easter is as good an excuse as any.

Italian Stuffed Flank Steak is adapted by Tante Marie from a Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso recipe in The New Basics Cookbook. It takes some patience. Rolling the flank steak can be tricky. (Having another set of hands can be helpful). But it will always taste good no matter what the perfection police have to say about your rolling abilities. 
Italian Stuffed Flank Steak
Serves 4-6

1/2 pound fresh spinach, stems removed and leaves well rinsed
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 red bell peppers, roasted, stemmed, seeded and halved
1 1 1/2 pound flank steak, butterflied
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 fresh hot cherry pepper, cored, seeded and minced (or 1/2 teaspoon red
pepper flakes. I have also used Piquillo peppers or roasted red bell peppers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the spinach in a saucepan with just the water that clings to the leaves.
Cover and cook over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain well of
all excess liquid and chop coarsely.

Combine the spinach, breadcrumbs, cheese, olive oil and garlic in a food
processor and puree until thick and smooth. Taste and season as desired with
salt and pepper.

Open the steak on a work surface and season well with salt and pepper.
Arrange the prosciutto in one layer on the surface of the steak. Top with a
layer of the roasted peppers. Then, spread the spinach mixture over the
peppers and top with the minced hot pepper (or pepper flakes).

Starting with a long side, roll the steak up jelly-roll style, being careful not to
let the center get too thick. Tie the steak with kitchen twine every 2-inches.
Brush the outside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the
steak in a shallow baking pan and bake for 40 minutes for medium-rare. Let
meat rest at least 15 minutes before slices and serving.

(Recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.)

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