Okay, disclaimer here. This isn’t a real roulade or involtino since I think you have to bake or roast it once the ingredients are all rolled up together to be able to call it that. Anyway, it’s really good, really easy and it's different. So here you go.
You’re going to need thinly sliced beef. I’ve made this recipe with anything from skirt steak to thinly sliced tri-tip to milanesa (unseasoned carne asada) so just go with whatever you like.
As you'll see in the photos I've included, the steaks I used this time were not as long as they could have been. I usually don't have a problem finding a skirt steak or a milanesa that's long enough to roll but everything was picked over this time around, so, I had to work with what I could get. The chuck rounds I got had great flavor and texture, so there you have it, improvisation can be tasty. Now I know some of you are going to ask, "Can't I just pound the beef?" Sure, yes, you can pound it if you really want to use that mallet of yours that only gets to see daylight every now and again, go ahead. I, however, find less expensive cuts of meat to be better, yes better with this dish. So, why now save that dough for the next time you want to do a rib-eye.
For the rest of the ingredients, I usually hit up my local Whole Foods since they’ve got an awesome olive bar. Their house-made olive tapenade is really good. I estimate 1-2 tablespoons per steak and there's usually some left over. The olive bar usually stocks these giant roasted red pepper, sitting in olive oil, with a funny Italian name that are SO delicious. Alas, this time they didn’t have any so I cried a little bit then grabbed a jar of roasted red bell peppers packed in water.
Okay, for you sticklers, here's the recipe:
Beef and Roasted Pepper Pretend Roulade
Thin steaks, about 1/2 centimeter thick.
Dark olive (pref Calamata) tapenade 2 Tbs. per steak
Roasted Peppers, pref packed in olive oil, 1 per steak
1 small container ground Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Asiago (or a mix of all three)
Line up your Tapenade, cheese and roasted peppers in that order. If the peppers were packed in water, massage them with a little olive oil. Deseed and split them open so that when you roll them up, they’ll be only one layer of pepper.
If you can get a sous chef, by all means do! Having one person do the meat and the other roll it up, makes this a cinch!
Now, get that skillet hot! Cast iron works like a charm for this. Just a tablespoon or so of oil is fine. With tongs, place 1-2 steaks in the pan and cook very quickly, 30 seconds to one minute on each side. Immediately afterwards, move to a plate or dry cutting board. Now you ask, "Can your grill it?" "Bien sur!" I say! I've done it many a-time, I just didn't want to clean the grill last night.
Spread on the tapenade, lightly top that with the cheese and then lay out a pepper in roughly the same shape as the steak. Roll up and secure with a toothpick if necessary. Serve with sides and voila! It’s just that easy.
Sides: Asparagus is really nice and easy with this dish. Wild rice is my go to here. They just work really well together. Faro can be nice too. Maybe a little Spaghetti alla Checca?
Alrighty everyone! Hope you try it out! My signature pretend Beef and Roasted Pepper Pretend Roulade is something my family is always asking me to make, so I consider it a real winner.
Until next time,