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Rolled steak is an oven roasted beef dish, which is rolled, tied, and after cooking, pinwheel sliced and served with a garnish or sauce. It is familiar to many cultures and each has their unique signature on it. Generally, rolled steak uses flank steak or round steak.
Flank steaks and round steaks are both excellent choices for rolling because they are long and thin cuts of beef. Flank steak is best know for the London Broil and is often sold as such. Round steak is often sold as rump steak.
Both cuts are very tasty but can be a little tough so it is best to butterfly them or have your butcher prepare the meat upon purchase. This involves slicing them in half, leaving about an inch at one edge. This cut should be made at a horizontal angle, going with the grain of the meat. This will improve the tenderness of the roast and give the steak a manageable thickness.
After you butterfly your steak, it is best to tenderize it by marinating the meat for 24 hours. Most acids, such as lemon, tomatoes, vinegar or wine make excellent marinades. Soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic and pineapple are also deliciously effective.
Once the meat has been tenderized properly, season with your favorite spices and herbs. A layer of bacon and garlic are quite frequently used. Begin rolling at the short end as you would a jelly roll or a log. Secure it with butcher's string. Usually making three ties across is enough to keep the roast from falling apart during cooking.
At this point, many chefs refrigerate for another 24 hours, pan sear or broil to seal the meat. Then the rolled steak is roasted in a hot oven until done.
Less roasting time will result in a more tender rolled steak. This dish is best when served medium to medium-rare. It has already been marinated so the cooking time can be less. After cooking is completed, the rolled steak is sliced into serving portions before presentation.
Variations of rolled steak involve slicing the steak into two-inch (5.08 centimeters) strips before rolling, tying with twine or securing with skewers. Many ethnic dishes stuff the rolled steak with their favorite fillings and spices.
Braciole (or braciola) is an Italian favorite rolled steak. It is stuffed with a variety of cheeses, using preferences such as Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone or Romano. A layer of bacon is often included before rolling. The braciole is baked in a marinara sauce or the sauce added at the table.
A Mediterranean marinade uses soy sauce, red wine, garlic and ginger. The Argentinians enjoy rolled steak with a chimichurri sauce rolled in the steak. It is prepared with garlic, parsley, red onion, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Other accoutrements involved in rolled steak are bacon, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach, green onions, and your choice of cheese.
Rolled steak recipes are always a special occasion dish and do require more preparation time than your normal roast beef dishes. However, due to their beautiful presentation and excellent flavor, most culinary aficionados agree they are worth the extra effort.