Once you've blitzed up a batch of seriously savory anchovy-laced pesto, what better use for it than to roll it up inside a flank steak? Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer's technique for stuffing, rolling, and grilling the steak in Canal House Cooks Every Day highlights the flank steak's robust beefiness with an herbal, briny punch. Best of all? The whole recipe can be prepared in a flash, with no need to heat up anything except the grill, and it's pretty enough to serve at a summer dinner party.
Why I picked this recipe: Pesto and steak are a winning combination.
What worked: I am not terribly adept at butterflying, but even with a hole or two, the dish turned out great.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: If you don't have access to a grill, you can cook the steak indoors by searing it on all sides in a cast iron skillet or grill pan. Finish cooking the steak in a 400º F oven, checking its temperature every 5 minutes or so. Pull it out once the center reaches 120-125º F for medium-rare.
Reprinted with permission from Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer Copyright 2012. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 6
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes, plus time to light the grill
- 1 (2-pound) flank steak
- Salt and pepper
- Basil and Parsley Pesto
Place the flank steak flat on a work surface with the grain of the meat running perpendicular to you. Using a long, thin, very sharp knife, butterfly the meat by slicing through the long side of the steak, opening it up as you go, stopping 1/2 inch short of cutting the steak in two. Press the meat flat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto all over the meat, leaving a 1-inch space all around the edge. Roll up the steak, with the grain running the length of the roll (this is the way it “wants” to roll) and tie up with kitchen string every 2 inches. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Grill over a medium-hot fire built on one side of the grill, turning the steak until it has browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Move the steak over to the side of the grill off the fire, allowing it to cook as it rests, about 10 minutes.
Place the steak on a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the strings and slice across the grain into 1- to 2-inch slices.