Tag Archives: Brandon Rice

FARRO-STUFFED FLANK STEAK

Stuffed flank steak has been one of my favorite foods for over 50 years. It is one of my family’s favorites, too. But honestly, our version has gotten a little boring. The tradition is to stuff the flank steak with a conventional bread dressing and – don’t get me wrong – it is delicious. But my thought is that surely you can do something different after 50 years. Once again, it was my turn for the main dish at our Sunday family dinner. A wonderful new market had opened in the little shopping center across the street, and they had some beautiful flank steaks in their butcher shop. Like a conjunction of the planets, flank steak stuffed with something different seemed like an inspiration. Evan and Brandin Rice at Rich Table have been experimenting with farro lately, and I was interested in how I might make it work in my more plebian dishes. Inspiration! – farro-stuffed flank steak. Of course, there needed to be something to perk up meat and grain, so the addition of a green sauce – chimichurri is a natural – came to mind. Mushrooms and pine nuts added to the flavors. It all came together.

I made a serious miscalculation by buying two flank steaks for 6 people.  That is way more than you need, The recipe that follows is for one flank steak. On the other hand, leftovers of this dish are a bonus, so you may want to make two stuffed steaks. Regardless of your decision, I am sure you will enjoy the result.

RECIPE

Farro-Stuffed Flank Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steaks, about 1½ pounds
  • ½ cup cooked farro
  • 1 recipe chimichurri, divided (see previous post for recipe)
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. With a sharp knife, butterfly the steak so that it opens like a book. Flatten the meat with a heavy pounder. Chill until ready to fill.
  2. In a. Medium bowl, combine the cooked farro, half of the chimichurri, mushrooms, pine nuts, panko, and egg.
  3. To fill the flank steak, open it on a flat surface, cut side up. Spread with the farro/chimichurri mixture leaving a half-inch border around the edge. Begin to roll the steak beginning from the narrow end until the roll is sealed. Tie the rolled steak with kitchen twine at two-inch intervals, making sure the ends are tied closed.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy lidded oven-proof casserole over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, brown the stuffed flank steak, turning frequently until browned on all sides. When the steak is browned, add the beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil and then transfer the covered casserole to the middle of an oven preheated to 275°F. Cook, covered, for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the steak from the oven and transfer to a plate, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the twine, slice into ¾ inch slices and serve with the remaining chimichurri to be spooned over the top if desired.

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BRANDON RICE, RISING STAR CHEF SAN FRANCISCO, 2016

Congratulations to Brandon Rice for being recognized as a Rising Star Chef for San Francisco in 2016. Brandon is Chef de Cuisine at Rich Table. Since his taking that position, he has become a vital member of the Rich Table family.

A couple of years ago, Sarah was doing the dessert menu, managing paper work, taking care of a toddler, and expecting a new baby. Evan was working seven days a week, and had been doing that for many months. Needless to say, they were both feeling a lot of pressure. Then Brandon came on the scene, and things got a lot better. Importantly, Evan got a day off, and Brandon quickly assumed a leadership role in taking charge of the kitchen when Evan was not there. Brandon also demonstrated his skills and creativity as a cook, coming up with new dishes and new presentations. If you are on Instagram, you can find some of his work at brandonrice123.

It is clear that Brandon is a dedicated hard worker with a bright future in the culinary world. That’s why the Rising Star award is so important and so well deserved.

The actual recognition ceremony is a very big deal. This year there is a VIP reception, the awards ceremony, and a spectacular tasting at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. The annual event is always well attended by those in San Francisco who are interested in restaurants and food. Doesn’t that mean just about everyone in San Francisco?

As I mentioned to Sarah, the downside of this recognition is that Brandon will probably be leaving soon to start his own restaurant. Although there is no reason to think that Brandon will be moving on in the near future, Sarah allowed that Brandon’s ambition was to open his own restaurant.  But that sort of process is an important lesson for every mentor: special pride  comes from sharing the success of a colleague whom you have encouraged and nurtured; enjoy your own success as a mentor.

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