Neil’s Food & Wine Pairing – Stuffed Flank Steak
Authored by: Neil Johnston, Dumas Station Food & Wine Pairing Expert
One of the classic pairings for Cabernet Sauvignon is beef: a prime rib roast, or a great ribeye steak. However, if you are like me, you have just emerged from the holiday period having eaten your fill of rich foods, and are craving lighter, more healthy dishes. What to prepare this month, to pair with a delicious Cab Sauv?
This recipe Stuffed Flank Steak provides one answer, combining the beefy flavor of flank steak with the freshness of spinach, tomato, and roasted red bell pepper. To help keep it light, serve it with rice or noodles.
Cook 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields 4 servings
Recommended Wine Pairing: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 to 2 lb flank steak butterflied
- 2 tbsp panko (recommended) or other dried breadcrumbs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese grated or shredded
- 1 large bag frozen spinach – thawed, well drained
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 jar of roasted red bell pepper strips (typically found in the “pickle” section of your grocery)
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes [optional, see #6 below]
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt divided
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- If not done by the butcher or meat department, butterfly the steak by lining your knife up parallel with a cutting board and slicing through the center of the steak, stopping just short of cutting all the way through. This will make it so that you can open up the steak like a book, doubling the original length of the steak.
- Using a mallet or meat tenderizer, even out the thickness of the steak, aiming for 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, add egg yolk and lightly whisk with a fork. Add 1 cup of the spinach and all of the panko bread crumbs, mixing with the egg. Finish off by tossing in the mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Starting in the center of the butterflied steak smear it with the cheese stuffing, spreading it out evenly as far as it will go. Leave a 1 inch border along the edges of the steak clear of stuffing. Sprinkle top of stuffing with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or more) and black pepper to taste. Place a layer of roasted red bell pepper strips long ways down the center of the steak and working towards the edges.
- Depending on the size of your steak, and your appetite for fresh vegetables, you may opt to (or need to if your steak is very large) add more of the frozen spinach. I myself like spinach and tomatoes, and will tend to heavily cover the surface of the steak with a layer of additional spinach, topped with halved cherry tomatoes. If you want the dish to be more “meat-and-cheesey” you can opt not to do this.
- Roll the steak in the direction of the “grain” (the ripples in the meat), starting with the smallest end first. Roll the steak tightly and tuck in any stray pieces.
- Using cooking twine (100% cotton string), snugly loop & tie the twine along the steak in 2 inch intervals. String should be snug enough to slightly compress meat but not so tight it begins to cut into the steak.
- Place stuffed & tied flank steak on a baking sheet of your choice (I used a 9×13 baking dish). Drizzle the steak with olive oil and use your fingers to thoroughly rub it into the meat. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or more, to taste) and ground black pepper, on top of the steak.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then set oven to broil and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until browned to taste. Caution: Depending on how much juice the steak released while cooking, there may be a little smoke while broiling.
- Remove stuffed flank from oven and let rest for 15 minutes, exposed to air and undisturbed, before serving.
- Slice across the grain into ¾” thick slices and serve.