I was in the mood for meat (when am I NOT in the mood for meat - of whatever kind?) So, ANYway...I wanted something a little bit special, but not difficult. Something rich to mitigate the nippy nights we've had lately. Frost has been on the pumpkins, all right. And the chickens have slammed shut - no eggs for a few weeks now. Measures may need to be taken to remedy this. No, not CHOP-CHOP measures! Giving them extra light and heat measures!!! Okay, reeling myself back in from the tangent......in my meat recipe quest, I decided on stuffed flank steak and went off on my own with the recipe. My tester tasters urged me to put it in writing, so here it is. This is just a generic photo of flank steak. I didn't think to photograph dinner yesterday-!
STUFFED FLANK STEAK A LA ASPENGLOW
A 1.5 to 2 lb. flank steak
1.5 c. cubed bread (use a European-style bread with good crust, or it will turn mushy)
1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
3 T. finely chopped yellow onion
1 half-ripe Bartlett or Bosc pear, cored & cubed
4 inch sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
Sea salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
¾ c. beef broth
¼ c. good quality red wine vinegar
Flour, for dredging
Olive oil, for braising
String, skewers or toothpicks for fastening meat
Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Bring flank steak to room temperature, then lay on cutting board and score lightly on both sides, diagonally, in cuts about ¾ inch apart. Combine all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing well. Turn meat so that short edge is toward you. Spread stuffing mixture onto meat so that it comes right to the edge of the long sides, but is one inch in from the edge of the short sides. Roll the meat up, forming a pinwheel. Some of the stuffing will squish out as you roll, but it’s ok. Secure the ends, either with skewers woven into and out of the meat, or with toothpicks, or with cotton string tied along the length of the roll. Don’t roll too snugly NOR secure too tightly, as the stuffing will expand! Now you should have a fairly cohesive meat roll. Dredge it in flour, coating fairly thickly. Heat an ovenproof stockpot or cast-iron casserole over medium-high heat and add 4 T. or so of olive oil. Place flank roll into hot oil and braise on all sides until well-browned. Once browned, pour in beef broth and red wine vinegar and scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat, cover, and place in preheated oven. Bake at 500 F. for 15 minutes, then turn heat to 325 F. and bake an additional hour. Remove from oven, uncover, and let meat rest five minutes before slicing. Serve with couscous, mashed potatoes or rice.
Serves 3-4 hungry people