Stuffed Flank Steak with Bell Peppers and Spring Onions

What’s for dinner in the final week of beef? How about one last roulade. Yeah, I know I have been kinda stuck on roulades but they are a fun way to dress up an ordinary piece of meat. For this dinner it all starts with a flank steak that’s been marinaded. Next, you make a mixture of hash browns, sautéed bell peppers, and a few kicks of spice that gets slathered on the flattened out beef. Finally it’s topped it with jack cheese, a bunch of spring onions on it, roll it up and tie it up, and roast it. Well, that WAS the idea but this recipe was full of issues but in the end I still had a VERY tasty piece of beef. 

The saying it true. You can’t make up for poor quality. Beef is the best example of this. I thought I knew what good flank steak, skirt steak, and/or bavette but this meat was stellar. It started with sourcing it from my whole animal butcher in St. Paul, MN. appropriately named St. Paul Meat Shop. If you live in the area and have never been you need to go. Their prices are competitive. That is to say for quality meat and you won’t regret spending a little more if you aren’t used to buying from a butcher.

  • 1 ½ lb. flank steak, trimmed

The recipe then called to marinate the beef:

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper

I threw all this into a bowl and let it get all yummy over night.

Then the recipe tells you to make the filling. It offered a few so I chose the pepper filling:

  • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen shredded potatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1  Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2  tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup diced pepper Jack cheese (4 oz.)
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed

So the instructions were loosely:

Cook the bacon in a sauté pan until crisp. Remove from the pan leaving the fat. Add your potatoes in the single layer and cook until they brown. They emphasize to NOT stir. They go on to day this should take about 10 minutes.

OK, this is where my attempt went horribly wrong. I cooked my bacon and then added my potatoes. After about 5 minutes on medium heat in a stainless steel All-clad pan they torched to the bottom of the pan and the tops we’re just soggy. Did I not have enough fat in the pan? Why wouldn’t you call out how much fat you need to make this work. Were my potatoes too wet? I used Yukon Gold. Should I have used a different potato? Should I have tried ringing them out first? At this point I knew I wasn’t going to get anything resembling “hash browns” so I threw in my peppers to make it more of a stir fry and trying to salvage what was going on.

So for the peppers it say to use a ½ cup diced. This drives me nuts! Seems so wasteful. First off why not just use 1 whole pepper rather than parts of two. Then if says to dice them. Why? If I am making a layer of filling for a roll that will get sliced long strips would be better. There would be less of a chance for the peppers to fall out when slicing the roulade. So I opted for julienned peppers. I added the garlic and a little oil and did my best to turn this into a stir fry. I then calls for Creole or Cajun seasoning. I don’t mind blends but why not just tell me what the spices are rather than me buying a custom blend I would only use in this recipe where individual spices I would use in all types of recipes. So instead I used a chipotle cili powder I had along with a Smoked Sweet Paprika. Again, not to totally nit pick this recipe but there are different kinds of paprika. Why wouldn’t you tell me the type you want used in this recipe?

Once all this is cooked the recipe then calls for it to be cooled. So, it’s at this point of the recipe that I realize it’s not going to be dinner that night. It was my fault I didn’t read through the recipe well enough to plan accordingly.

I was so frustrated with this recipe that I forgot to add the cheese once I got to the point of filling, rolling, and tying it up. The recipe originally called for this to be done on a grill but it’s March in northern Iowa so on the stove and in the oven it went. I started off with searing the outside and then I transferred it to the oven and cooked it on a relatively high heat to get a nice crust on the outside. I think I cooked it at 400ºF for about 30-40 minutes until the internal temp hit 140ºF.

I left it rest and roasted some garlic brussels chips to serve with it. The final dish was great but it needs a major overhaul. One shocking issue. It never called for the cooked bacon to be added back into the steak filling! Who would cook bacon and not use it!? I chopped up my cooked bacon and added it to the pepper filling. Once I realized I forgot the cheese I put little cubes of it on top of the individual servings and threw it under the broiler for a couple minutes till the cheese melted.

In the end it was the amazing beef that saved this disaster of a recipe.

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