August 29, 2010 by Flora Dawn
There are just some foods that make winning combinations. Apples and cinnamon. Chocolate and peanut butter. Tomatoes and basil. Prosciutto and provolone.
So when I was flipping through the channels a few weeks ago and noticed a rerun of America’s Test Kitchen was featuring a flank steak filled with prosciutto and provolone rolled, sliced, skewered, and then grilled, I knew I had to watch.
The idea is so yummy sounding and I have made something quite similar in the past. You might have noticed a version of this in the butcher block. They do look and sound delicious, but in reality, the meat is difficult to cook evenly and the filling is usually dry and overcooked, if it didn’t all drip out into a gooey mess all over your oven or grill.
I really like how the people at America’s Test Kitchen tackle these big cooking dilemmas, they attempt the recipe hundreds of times so we don’t have to. Saves the rest of us a lot of money, time, and headaches.
So they had a couple great ideas. The first is to butterfly the flank steak, I actually used a flat iron because I like the flavor better and I happened to have one in my freezer. Okay, so this sounds scarier than it really is. I can assure you I have sharp knives, but not the best knife skills. And I was still able to pull this dish off. I would guess that nearly every butcher would butterfly this for you though when you make the meat purchase. I made a couple mistakes in mine (holes), but I just proceeded with the recipe and no one was the wiser.
I used a meat tenderized to pound the meat even, you then slather it with an herb/shallot blend and top with prosciutto and provolone. You roll it, tie and here is the great part or the recipe, you skewer it and then cut the into individual portions; think meat lollipops. This really helps the filling stay intact during cooking.
These looked good, smelled great and tasted even better. My husband took one bites and said “holy cannoli these are good.” My three year old was the only one that was not in agreement, I think the taste is a bit grown up for a preschooler.
Although these aren’t difficult, there are quite a few steps so I am including more photos than usual so you can see what is going on.
I think this would be a great choice for entertaining, not only is flank steak or flat iron steak inexpensive, but this feeds quite a few people. The meat could easily be prepared before hand and refrigerated until ready to skewer/slice. I would save that step because the skewers need soaked before grilling to prevent burning. It is fabulous to start with an inexpensive cut of beef and end up with something worthy of company.
I only had a one pound steak in the freezer, so I adjusted the meat and cheese accordingly and we still got 8 slices of meat. And both provolone and prosciutto can be purchased by the slice in the meat/deli section of nearly every grocery store, so you can simply buy a few slices for the recipe.
Also, prosciutto is thinly sliced, dry-cured pork. Of course read the label, but I have never seen any ingredients resembling gluten, just pork and salt.
Grilled Stuffed Steak
I actually used a much smaller cut of meat and just reduced the cheese and meat amounts accordingly.
*UPDATE: I made these without the skewers, just tied them, sliced them, and placed them carefully on the grill. They turned out the same, only with less effort!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 TB fresh minced parsley leaves
- 1 tsp fresh minced sage leaves
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 flank steak or flat iron steak 2-2 1/2 lbs (it is easiest to butterfly if it’s slightly frozen)
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
- 8-12 skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 8-12 pieces of butchers twine
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, shallot, parsley, sage and olive oil.
- Lay steak on a cutting board, with grain running parallel to the edge of the counter, butterfly the steak and pound to an even thickness.
- Spread herb mixture evenly over surface of steak, leaving a 1-2 inch border along top edge. Cover with prosciutto and cheese, leaving the same size border along top edge.
- Starting from the bottom edge, roll the meat away from you, placing the seam side down on the cutting board.
- Starting on the outside edges, tie 8-12 pieces of butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals around steak. Work from outermost ends first, so the filling doesn’t get pushed out the ends.
- Skewer the beef through the string, and using a sharp knife cut into 1-inch thick pinwheels. Season with salt and pepper.,
- Cook on preheated med-high grill for about 6 minutes per side of until desired doneness. I actually had difficulty using a meat thermometer on these, due to the filling, so I just sliced into one of them to check for doneness (not real scientific, but it worked).
- Remove from grill and allow to rest five minutes before discarding skewers and twine. Serve.