Flank Steak Rolled Up with Feta & Spinach:
This post is a little different. It’s half quick recipe and half product review of sorts. Whenever I buy chicken at Trader Joe’s I always see these rolled up steak things that look intriguing. They are, in fact, flank steak stuffed with feta, spinach and red pepper — but usually, I just see them and think, “huh, those look interesting.” This week, however, I actually bought a package. For you see, I am easily lured by the promise of feta stuffing. In addition to the persuasive power of the feta, they were very cute — they looked like little meat wheels. At $4.99 a pound, the price wasn’t bad either (the package I bought was $6.99).
Typically, I (and subsequently jwa) am still mostly in the chicken, fish and turkey cooking/eating cycle at home. See this post for more on my history of meat. I’m not looking to eat a lot more beef but every so often it would be nice to cook up some red meat when the mood strikes. As it is, I think I buy beef tenderloin once a year for Mini-Beef Wellingtons at Christmas but that’s about it. So, I am expanding my non-poultry and non-fish repertoire!
The package said to cook the steaks 10-15 minutes per side and not knowing all that much about flank steak I figured I’d just do what it said. If we didn’t like it, well more brussel sprouts and pine nut rice pilaf for dinner.
So, here you go — my Trader Joe’s meat experiment.
1 tsp olive oil
1 package Trader Joe’s Flank steaks, rolled up and stuffed with spinach, feta, and red pepper
8-10 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of red wine (Cabernet works well)
1/4 cup beef stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
I heated up a heavy pan and added a little olive oil, salted the steaks and set them down to sear. I also added a bunch of sliced mushrooms and three sliced garlic cloves to the pan, thinking they would get all golden while the meat cooked. Then, I realized that the mushrooms would give off some liquid and probably keep the meat from browning, but you know what? They didn’t. Sure they gave off a little bit but between the olive oil, medium-high heat and tantalizing meat fat everything got all brown. It went perfectly to plan! Ha! I love it when that happens.
I gave the steaks ten minutes on each side then removed them to a plate and covered with foil, while I made a quick pan gravy. This entailed adding about 1/2 cup of red wine, dried thyme and 1/4 cup of beef stock to the mushrooms and scraping down all the brown bits in the pan. I let cook down just a bit — 3-4 minutes, then plated the steaks, removed the string (as the meat was secured in its circular shape), and drizzled some of the mushroom & wine gravy on top of each steak. Served with the pilaf (from a box — lazy!), sprouts and the rest of the Cabernet.
Braised Brussel Sprouts:
The brussel sprouts were cleaned, halved and sautéed with 2 cloves of garlic (minced) in a little butter until browned. Then I added beef stock (typically, I use chicken stock but I figured beef would work better here) and let them braise for about 20 minutes. Delicious!
All in all, this was a pretty good experimental dinner! If you’ve seen these spinach and feta stuffed flank steaks at Trader Joe’s and like me, have wondered if they were any good, you should give them a try — they were pretty tasty!