Okay, so ignore the fact that the steak is a wee bit overcooked. Long story short, I have the worlds most sensitive smoke detectors. I cooked the steak, then turned the broiler on for a second in order to get a little more color on the meat. Turns out, that was a bad idea, and the smoke detectors decided to take offense to my cooking method, so I had to shut off the oven, then keep the steak in there, for fear the sprinklers would go off or something. Soooo, steak: overcooked. HOWEVER, it is still wicked delicious. Even overcooked, it was outrageously good. It’s stuffed with a red pepper pesto and some wilted spinach and caramelized onions. (I also served it on a bed of the red pepper pesto, holy crap that stuff is amazing.) Now, this is a little labor intensive, but totally worth all the work. There are a few steps.
The first step is marinating the flank steak. This just gets a little more flavor, and a little bit of tenderizing to the meat.
– Flank steak (I got a big ol’ hunk of beef)
– 1/2 cup balsamic
– 1/2 cup oil
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon parsley
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 1 teaspoon thyme
Toss the balsamic and oil into a dish big enough to marinate the steak in.
Put all the herbs and the garlic in there, and give it a good stir.
Throw the steak in there, and flip it over a few times. Cover that baby in saran wrap, and stick it in the fridge overnight. Just flip it over occasionally when you think of it.
The red pepper pesto can also be prepped ahead of time, up to a couple days. However, I make it the same day, because if I didn’t, it would be gone by the time I needed it.
– Three to four red peppers
– LOTS of garlic, between 4 and many many cloves.
– 1/3 cup cashews
– 1/3 cup walnuts
– A ton of basil (this was about a cup worth, once chopped up)
– up to 1/4 cup oil
– salt and pepper to taste
First to roast the peppers. Stick the red peppers on a foil lined lipped baking sheet. Set the oven to broil. (If you have stupid sensitive smoke detectors, I would recommend opening a window) Stick the peppers under the broiler.
Until the skins start to blacken. Keep an eye on them, and as they start to blacken, flip to a new side. Just keep flipping those babies until they are all blackened.
They will also look all smooshy, like so. Once they are all roasted, they need to cool a little. The best way to deal with the skins is to put them in lidded container and let them steam a bit, to loosen the skins up. Once they have set for a bit, and cooled to the point that they can be handled, peel the skins and discard the seeds.
I find that it’s best to do in the sink, because it is a messy business. Once peeled, it’s pesto time!
Throw the cashews into the food processor, and give them a good blitz.
It should look fairly sandy.
Once the cashews are ground, throw the red pepper flesh and the garlic cloves into the food processor, and grind the hell out of them.
Toss the walnuts and the basil in there, and give it another good grind.
Once this is all ground up, stick the top back on the food processor, and drizzle in a little bit of oil, until the pesto is creamy and just slightly runny.
NOW: to make the steak. Grab the marinated flank steak and the pesto. I actually used some of my caramelized onions and wilted spinach. If some other vegetable calls to you, feel free to add those.
Grab the steak out of the marinade and butterfly it. basically, slice it in half, almost all the way through, so instead of a smaller, thick steak you have a bigger, thinner steak.
Like so. You can see how it cut it, with the grain. I will roll it in such a way as to cut ACROSS the grain when it’s done.
Spread a bunch of the pesto onto the steak…
Then the veg…
And roll that baby up. The angle of the cutting board has changed, but you can see what way the grain us running still.
Tie that puppy up with butchers twine. Put it on a foil lined lipped baking sheet, and cook it for 40 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Flip it half way through. Don’t bother with the broiler, there be dragons.
You can see why my smoke detector went apeshit. The meat isn’t burnt, but the balsamic from the marinade caramelized and got all tasty. Let it rest for a bit, and then slice that baby carefully. I recommend serving the slices of beef on a bed of the leftover pesto. You won’t be sorry!