Flank steak is inexpensive and versatile, it makes great fajitas, stir fries or even cheese steak. It picks up flavors from a marinade easily, and can be grilled, pan seared, baked or broiled. Although, my favorite is a stuffed flank steak, by pulling together whatever sounds good from the fridge and pantry, there really isn’t a wrong way to “stuff” the steak.
I’ve used leftover sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, asparagus, tomato paste, sliced ham, various cheeses the list just goes on. However, my personal favorite is mushrooms, sauteed spinach and sun dried tomatoes. It’s savory and a little sweet, add in provolone or mozzarella coupled with a balsamic glaze- perfect.
I promise next time flank steak is on sale you will want to try this.
Stuffed Flank Steak with Balsamic Glaze
Stuffed flank steak is probably the most flexible recipe I have right now, and it's simple. The glaze is optional, but it's delicious, I like to make it ahead of time so I can be attentive while it cooks down.
In a skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the shallots and cook for an additional 2 min while string.
Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach, a little more olive oil if you need to and the garlic salt. Stir to mix and put the lid on allowing the spinach to wilt. Pull this off the heat, stir in the sun dried tomatoes and move on to stuffing the steaks (see notes).
Preheat the oven to 350C
Place the steak on a cutting board with the grain of the meat parallel to the edge of the counter. Pound the meat thinner to make it easier to roll, or if it's really thick/uneven butterfly it and then pound it flat.
Starting with the edge closest to you begin to plop the filling on the meat. Evenly spread it out avoiding the top third of the steak.
Starting with the edge closes to you roll the steak like a big meaty jelly roll.
Secure with toothpicks and slice into 2 inch thick pinwheels.
Heat an oven proof (I like cast iron for this) skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Lay the pinwheels cut side down and sprinkle with half the herb seasoning, then place them seasoning side down in the hot skillet. Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning over the pinwheels while they sear.
Once they are nice and brown on the bottom (about 1 min) flip the pinwheels over and sear the other side for about two minutes.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the steaks.
Place them in the oven for 7-10 min until the desired doneness is reached. If the cheese hasn't browned I like to give them a min under the broiler before I pull them out.
Allow the steaks to rest for a few min before plating them and drizzling the glaze across the tops (if using it which you really should).
While the pinwheels are in the oven and resting it's time to make the glaze, if you are using it that is. In a small sauce pan mix the balsamic and brown sugar.
Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring. Reduce the heat slightly and allow it to reduce by half. It's really that simple. Drizzle over the finished pinwheels. Sometimes I make a double batch the day before and use it on other stuff too.
This can stand alone with a very simple side like rice to catch the extra juices. Myself, I'm a veggie lover and so I make a simple side salad or steamed carrots.
Note about the balsamic vinegar, you don't have to break the bank but do pick one that has a nice well rounded flavor. In making the glaze those flavors will be concentrated and made a little sweet, so it's best to start out with a decent quality vinegar.
Note about the filling, this can be made up to two days ahead of time. Just store in the fridge in a airtight container until you are ready to stuff the steak. Any longer than two days and I find it loses it's bright flavor and color.
Before I get into the meat of the post (ha get it, meat!) allow me a moment of candor. As I was growing up my mom’s meatloaf was just a terrible grey mass with ketchup drizzled on top. After time in the oven, the ketchup resembled a slightly sticky red shoelace (lawdy I hope she isn’t reading this). Looking back now I should have appreciated her effort more; She was in college, had a family and was putting home cooked meals on the table. I’m grateful she taught me that the experience of cooking for others can be rewarding, also thankful she didn’t teach me her meatloaf recipe.
Okay so enough sounding like a brat, time to share my take on the meatloaf. I knew it had to be moist (yes there is that word), full of flavor and boast something unwarranted. The jobs of flavor and juicy; those fall on the shoulders of finely chopped veggies and panko breadcrumbs. I love the sweetness from the veggies and added nutrition (scoffing laughter, okay a little added nutrition) all bound up with the panko. I wanted to take meatloaf past some unseen barrier from my childhood experiences, so I slathered it with BBQ sauce, wrapped it in bacon and added more BBQ sauce. Now you see why I had to convince myself the addition of the veggies brings nutrition to the equation.
I hope y’all enjoy my meatloaf recipe, that you fall in love with this comfort food all over again or for the first time.
Not my Momma's Meatloaf
Juicy and full of flavor, this meatloaf will become a family favorite.
Preheat the oven to 325C, we are going for low and slow.
In a bowl mix together the bread crumbs and seasoning, set this aside.
In a food processor pulse the red bell pepper, carrot and onion.
In a large bowl place the meatloaf mixture, veggie mix (sometimes I don't use all of it, try for a shy cup), followed by the dry ingredients and egg. Mix this together gently, seriously don't give the meatloaf a deep tissue massage just gently fold the ingredients together.
Shape the loaf in a jelly roll pan or large casserole dish, whatever is on hand that is big enough to allow the drippings to move away from the loaf. Otherwise it will just bake in a pool of fat. (I like to line my pan with parchment paper. ) Then brush the loaf well with BBQ sauce, cause that's way better than ketchup.
Cut the three slices of bacon in half to make six short slices. Lay the short slices over the loaf to make it a little bacon blankie. Hush little loafy don't say a word....
Brush with more BBQ sauce.
Put that gloriousness in the oven at 325C for 90min. Drool and remove from the oven.
As any meatloaf, it's best the day of but makes great leftovers, if there are any. The veggies and panko keep this juicy and full of flavor, while the bacon and BBQ make it special.
A few notes about recipe and technique.
Carrot note - sometimes all I have is shredded carrots, or baby carrots... don't feel like you have to get anything new.
Seasoning note - I adore the Salt Sisters. I have used their Mediterranean rub, Tuscan farmhouse blend and smokey BBQ rub in the recipe. You can't go wrong with them.
Mixing note: I said it but I'll say it again - don't over mix it! Just fold gently otherwise it will affect the texture.
No loaf pan: Despite loaf being in the name I recommend skipping the loaf pan. I'm pretty sure sitting in it's own slop while it bakes is what turns it into a grey glob, instead of baking it just kinda boils. No one wants boiled meat.