Yesterday’s post on the stuffed flank steak roll required more than a few ingredients and some extra effort in the kitchen. Here’s a second variation that is simple, elegant, and just as delightful.
That first roll turned out so well, I decided another variation was in order, so I headed back to the butcher the next weekend and ordered up another flank steak. You’ll find this one much simpler, as far as the ingredient list goes, but you’ll not find any flavor has gone missing. Here’s what you’ll need:
The Bacon Maven’s Flank Steak Roll with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Bacon
1 3- to 4-pound flank steak
1 pint sweet cherry tomatoes
6 slices of lightly cooked bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Prep the tomatoes first. Pour a pint of the best cherry toms you can find into a small gratin dish, so that they fit cozily in one layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Into a 350-degree oven, about 30 minutes or so, until the tomatoes have burst and the juices are bubbling and thickening up.
While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the flank steak in the same manner used for the first roll; put it on a cutting board, cover with wax paper, give it a sound beating with a meat tenderizing mallet, and trim what’s necessary to make a mostly uniform rectangle. Season the steak both sides with salt and pepper, then place your six softly cooked bacon (you don’t really want it super crispy) to cover one side. Once the cherry tomatoes are cool enough to handle, ladle them on top of the bacon, the roll and tie the roast as before, pushing any of the tomato goodness that leaks out back into the roll as you go. Wrap the roast in bacon as you did for the first recipe.
Grilling a bacon-wrapped roll isn’t hard, but does take some monitoring. Make sure the bacon comes away easily from the cooking surface before searing the next side. Once all sides have cooked bacon, move the roast to indirect heat to finish cooking.
I went with the grill on this one, using a ventilated round-bottom pan from my chicken can cooker. Any vegetable grilling tool of the aerated type will do. I set it on direct flame, searing the bottom until the bacon easily came away when the roast was picked up with tongs, then the top side, and then briefly on each long side, just enough to get the bacon about half-way to crispy and with the lid down in between turns. Once that’s done, roast the roll on indirect heat until you stick a thermometer through to the center of the roast hits about 130 degrees, probably another 20 minutes or so, depending on how hot you’re running your grill. As an alternate to the grill, you can certainly go the oven route, do as I did with the first version, preheat the oven to 425 and put the roast in for 10 minutes before dropping the temp to 350 to finish it out to the desired 130 degrees internal temp. Either way, remove from the heat, tent with foil, and let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
This roast was every bit as good as the first, though its filling was substantially different. A little lighter, this was a great dish for a last warm summer evening, and the leftovers made for rockin’ BLT sandwiches the next day. I give myself a pat on the back for these two dishes, but the applause, of course, really goes to savory, salty, sweet, wonderful bacon.