Because of the saltiness of the pesto, I decided to pair this with a very simple and sweet tomato sauce. If you still have good-looking tomatoes where you are, please use fresh. The tomatoes weren't looking the greatest at my favorite market, so I opted for canned sauce. I also had some leftover pesto hanging around in the freezer, but you could easily make fresh or use a store-bought variety.
Pesto-Stuffed Flank Steak
- 6-8-oz. piece of flank steak
- 2 T. pesto
- 1/4 c. tomato sauce
- 2 T. sugar
- pinch crushed red pepper
- splash of red wine
- 1/2 fennel bulb, core removed and thinly sliced
- 1 T. fennel fronds, chopped for garnish
- splash of chicken or vegetable stock
- olive oil
Make sure the steak is room temperature. Working slowly, cut open the flank steak like a book. Put the pesto in the center of the book and close the steak. Season it with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat 1 T. of olive oil in two separate pans. Add the fennel to one and season with salt. Put the steak in the other.
The steak will cook for 3-4 minutes per side; the fennel for 7 minutes. At that point, the fennel should be carmelized and fairly soft. Add the stock to the fennel and let it continue to simmer.
Remove the steak from the pan and set it aside to rest. Add the tomato sauce, red pepper, and sugar to the steak pan. Stir to combine and add in the wine. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Taste the sauce, and if it needs salt and pepper, season to taste.
Spoon the sauce onto a plate. Slice the steak against the grain and lay it on top of the sauce. Top the steak with the fennel and fennel fronds.