Today you have a whole meal in one post…your lucky day! Let’s start with the main, flank steak which is located at the bottom of the animal or belly. Unlike pork belly this cut is lean, lots of muscle tissue and ideally marinated and cooked to rare to medium rare. For my readers from Greece, once again there are differences in the way butchers break down their meat compared to here in North America. The closest translation I’ve found for flank steak is “lapa” or “koilia”. Greek butchers will usually grind this into ‘kima’ but it’s worth asking.
Although flank steak is pretty thin, one needs to still pound/flatten it with a mallet so that you increase your area of meat, thin it out so it rolls-up better and pounding will tenderize a bit. The filling here takes on some Greek favourites of mine like spinach, toasted pine nuts and smoked Metsovone cheese – something I brought back from Greece last year (smoked Gouda works well here).
I love smoky flavours but if you fancy using another cheese I’d suggest using something aged or with less moisture so that the cheese melts but doesn’t melt away into the filling. There’s some scallions and fresh bread crumbs to hold the stuffing together. The most important skill here is tightly rolling-up your flank steak and tying it up with butcher’s twine.
I’ve laid-out the recipe such that the flank steak and these easy and delicious roast potatoes are ready around the same time. Look at them…the wedges look like persimmons! Much like classic Greek roast potatoes I roast them in a high temperature oven and the flavours are simple: olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and smoked paprika – one of my favourite pantry items.
I first discovered smoked paprika from the Monday “pazari” (bazaar) that takes place every Monday in my Dad’s hometown of Amynteo (Florina). One can get sweet smoked paprika and hot smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is made by air-drying the peppers, then smoking them and finally grinding them down to a powder. Powerful stuff, a little goes a long way but you’ll be using it for a long time.
Stuffed Flank Steak With Paprika Potatoes
1 flank steak ( 1 1/2 – 2lb.)
1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, passed through a box grater
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 cup of blanched or thawed from frozen spinach (squeezed of excess water), chopped
1/2 cup of slice scallions (green part only)
1 1/2 cups grated smoked Metsovone (or smoked gouda) cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 tsp. salt and fresh ground pepper
Dijon style mustard
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4-6 large potatoes, peeled, halved & cut into chunks
1/4 cup hot water
2 tsp. smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Pre-heated 400F oven
- In a shallow casserole dish, add all the marinade ingredients and mix with a spoon then adjust seasoning according to taste. Now take your flank steak and place on your work surface and place plastic on it and pound/flatten the meat with a mallet to about 1/4 inch thickness. Now place the flank steak in your marinade and cover both sides with it, cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge for 2 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare your stuffing ingredients: make your bread crumbs by placing day old bread in your food processor and mixing it with the sliced scallions, spinach, grated cheese, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and keep in a cool place.
- After two hours, take your flank steak out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. In the meantime, peel your potatoes and place in a baking vessel with the olive oil, water, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Pre-heat your oven to 400F and place the potatoes in to bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- Wife off the excess marinade and reserve. Now place the flank steak brush about a Tbsp. of Dijon mustard on the entire surface and spread the filling on top. Now roll up lengthwise tightly like a jelly roll and tie/secure with butcher’s twine.
- Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat and season the rolled flank steak with salt and pepper. Drizzle the skillet with olive oil and sear on all sides then place in the oven for about 30 minutes, basting as needed with reserved marinade (I did it every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent for 10 minutes while the meat is resting.
- Your meat and potatoes should be ready around the same time. Now snip off the butcher’s twine and slice your flanks steak and arrange on a platter. Lay the paprika potatoes right beside it and pour any of the liquid left from the potatoes over the meat and potatoes.
- Pair with an Agiorghitiko from GAIA wnes.
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