This week’s Farm-to-Table post is very special and we’re happy to share it with you! Mostly because we were really excited to use the outdoor wood fire grill at TinkerBox. Not only is the outdoor fireplace at TinkerBox perfect for grilling but the deck provides a fabulous location to dine. The deck was designed as an outdoor extension of the main living space. A fold away glass door off the kitchen can be easily pushed aside, creating unobstructed views of the surrounding dense forest and continuous access to the outdoors.
The grill was custom made by local blacksmith Jonathan Nedbor of Canal Forge in Alligerville. It has four levels, each of which can be used to adjust the temperature while cooking (the highest temperature is on the bottom) and to keep items warm on the top level.
The recipe for this week’s post was taken from a fabulous cook book for grilling called, Wood-Fired Cooking by Mary Karlin.
Grilled Flank Steak with Red Peppers and Fontina Cheese
1 (1 ½ – to 2 pound) flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bell peppers, roasted and peeled
2 cups packed spinach leaves
8 ounces Italian fontina or Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup julienned fresh basil
6 cloves garlic, blanched and minced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
⅓ cup bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
|½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, for moistening
Wood-Roasted Red Pepper Wine Sauce
2 large red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1 yellow onion, halved, roasted
3 cloves roasted garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
½ teaspoon dried herbs of choice
2 teaspoons of honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Keeping true to our Farm-to-Table theme, all ingredients were bought locally in Accord, a quaint hamlet in the Hudson Valley. The vegetables were purchased at Saunderskill Farms and the flank steak from Applestone Meat.
First, prepare a hot fire (475° to 500°) in a wood-fired oven or grill. Next, butterfly the steak by slicing through it horizontally (with the grain), cutting almost through, leaving halves attached by ½ inch. Open and flatten the cut meat and lightly season with salt and pepper. Pound the steak to create a fairly even thickness. Set aside.
Now is a good time to roast the peppers you’ll need for both the steak and sauce. You can also roast the onion you’ll need for the sauce. Roast the onion cut side down on the grill or skin side down in the embers, until slightly caramelized. Put aside to use for the sauce later.
Place the bell peppers in the embers of the wood-fired oven or over the direct heat of the grill. Roast until well blistered and charred all over. Place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the skin, seeds and stem. Put two of the peppers and any juice aside to use for the sauce later. Take the other two peppers and cut them into 4 large slabs and set aside for the steak.
Next, make the gremolata stuffing by combining the parsley, basil, garlic, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes and salt. Set aside, reserving 3 tablespoons for garnish.
Lay the spinach leaves over the opened steak.
Line with cheese slices and then red pepper slabs.
Sprinkle with the gremolata stuffing.
Roll up the steak tightly, lengthwise. Tie the rolled steak with kitchen string about every 3 inches. Brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Place the meat on a grate in the oven or on the grill and turn to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Move off of direct heat and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 120° to 130°F.
While the steak is cooking, prepare the red pepper wine sauce. Take the two roasted peppers and onion you set aside for the sauce. Cut the peppers into chunks. Remove the skin of the onion and coarsely chop.
Combine the peppers, reserved juice, onion, garlic, olive oil, wine, and herbs in a baking dish and place on the floor of the wood-fired oven or over indirect heat on the grill.
Cook, uncovered, until the liquid is slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place in a blender or food processor and puree the contents of the sauce. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the solids with the back of a large spoon. Season with the honey and salt and pepper to taste. Add the pepper flakes, if you like.
Once the steak is cooked as desired, transfer to a carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 130° to 135°F.
Cut into ½ -inch-thick rounds, sprinkle with the reserved gremolata, and serve with the wine sauce.
Have a seat in front of the fire and enjoy with a glass of wine. Bon Appétit!