Thursday, November 14, 2013

Garlic Topped Flank Steak Roulade from Make Ahead Paleo

If you've been around my blog for a while, you'll know how I like recipes that involve a roulade.  I was about to type meat roll, but that just sounds wrong, and well, I guess I've typed it anyway.  While looking through Tammy Credicott's Make Ahead Paleo for a final recipe to try out before doing my summary book review post, I could not pass up her Garlic Topped Flank Steak Roulade.  

I was excited to see how long this recipe would take to prepare as it looked like it could potentially be a new weeknight dinner for me.  I define a weeknight dinner as one that takes around an hour or less to prepare and cook (emphasis on the less).  This recipe comes from her Make & Freeze chapter of the book.  She suggests you can prepare the roulade, freeze it, and defrost and cook whenever you're ready.  I won't be freezing it this time. 

I read all of the text on the page of the recipe and gathered my ingredients.  It was a cold morning before work when I made this so I turned my oven on to pre-heat as soon as I got started preparing the dish.  

I started out by cooking the bacon in the oven safe skillet I planned on browning/cooking the roulade in.  With the bacon frying, I worked out some of my stress by pounding out my flank steak.  I couldn't find a flank steak as large as the recipe calls for, so I did the best I could.  The recipe doesn't mention it but I like to use a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper to cover the meat so I don't get splattered with blood while pounding it out.  I removed the plastic wrap and seasoned the steak on both sides.

And then I chopped up the vegetable ingredients starting with mushrooms.  

Sun dried tomatoes and garlic.

When the bacon was done frying, I removed it from the pan, turned off the heat, blotted the bacon on a paper towel and then chopped it up.  Last but not least, I chopped up the spinach.  

I layered the vegetables onto the steak.

And carefully rolled it up.   Some of the filling will squeeze out the ends, but that's OK.  

I completely forgot to put my butcher's string underneath the steak before I started to roll it.  She doesn't mention this in the instructions, but I know from making other recipes that having the string already in place makes tying the roll without loosing too much filling easier.  Even more helpful would be another set of hands to do the tying if you are so lucky.

Since I browned the bacon in the pan I planned to cook the steak roulade in, I reserved the bacon grease to use to brown the roulade.  I didn't see any reason to waste good grease.  I added just a little bit of coconut oil to the pan to the bacon grease. When the pan was hot, I browned the roulade on all sides.    

Once browned, I sprinkled the roulade with the garlic.  I actually minced the garlic with a knife rather than my garlic press as I knew it would sprinkle easier.  

I put my oven safe skillet into the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.  I liked the doneness of my steak after the timer sent off so I carefully moved the roulade to a cutting board.  

Here's the roulade sliced up.  

And a glamour shot of the slices.  

 And a different angle.

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find everything you need at your "big box" grocery store.  I really wanted a grass fed flank steak and utterly failed to procure one.  I missed the Saturday farmer's market and the Sunday market I went to was sold out.  Whole Foods had one, but it was $14.99/lb.  Knowing that the ranchers at the farmer's market were charging $8.99/pound, I just couldn't pull out my wallet on that one.  I used conventional but its a pretty lean cut of meat so its not the worst case scenario from a nutrient/toxin perspective.  

Preparation & Cooking Time:  It took me 25.5 minutes to prepare the roulade to cook.  It took me about 8 minutes to brown the roulade on all sides and I baked it for 10 minutes.   Grand total: 43.5 minutes.  

Clean Up:  As I used an oven safe skillet, the clean up wasn't bad.  Everything except that skillet  and my bamboo tongs went into the dishwasher. 

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  Can we say weeknight dinner?  The steak was super tender.  Make sure to get a good mix of filling in each bite.  The predominant flavor of the dish comes from the sun dried tomatoes.   If you are sensitive to salt, this dish is a little on the salty side with the bacon and sun dried tomatoes.  You can adjust the salt level down by not seasoning the steak or using less sun dried tomatoes.

Tammy recommends cooking the roulade until it is still a bit pink in the center.  As you can see mine was very pink, but I like my steak rare.  I might leave it in the oven for 12 minutes next time.  I decided to err on the side of rareness than risk it overcooking my first try.  As I heated slices of this up for lunch and dinner, I was glad that it was a little rare to begin with so that it didn't become over cooked from reheating.  Yum.

If you are looking for a sophisticated tasty dish in under 45 minutes, this is your dish.  I've not seen where Tammy has posted this recipe online, so you'll need to buy the book to enjoy it.

If you're curious about my other roulade reviews, here are a few links:

Steak Roll from Paleo Comfort Foods

Paleo Porchetta

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls from Picture the Recipe

Chicken Puttanesca from Edible