A rolled roast is one of my favorite easy meals. Depending on the stuffing it can be down home or upscale. It’s a gourmet treat for a dinner party or a Sunday supper after the big game. Once it’s in the oven you can sit back and pretty much relax.
Cut a 2 inch thick chuck steak in half horizontally until you’ve almost cut through it but not quite. Open the steak as if it were a book. You now have a 1 inch thick steak with a “hinge.”
Cover the steak with a plastic, food-quality storage bag. Pound on the “hinge” with a meat tenderizer or a regular hammer ntil it’s the same thickness as the rest of the steak or nearly so.
Cut six pieces of butcher’s twine 15 inches long. Lay them on a towel equal distance apart the width of the steak. Put the steak on top of the twine on top of the towel. The towel helps you roll up the steak into a roast. The twine ties the roast up.
Layer on your choice of thinly sliced vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and carrots. Top with chopped herbs and garlic. Finish with a topping of shredded leafy greens such as spinach, kale or chard. If you sautÃ© the vegetables for a few minutes you can stuff more in. Vegetables shrink as they cook.
Place your hands on one end of the roast and roll it away from you, covering the vegetables. Think of a jelly roll or making a sandwich wrap. Use the towel to slide the unrolled portion of the steak towards you. Press down on the meat to compress the rolled roast. Tuck any escaping vegetables back into the roll.
Bring up the piece of twine in the middle of the roll and tie it tightly. Tie the twine on either end of the roll. Finish with the remaining pieces of twine. Snip off loose ends.
Place the rolled roast seam-side down in a roasting pan. Put in a pre-heated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. Let the roast brown for 15 minutes. Add a cup of liquid — wine, beer, tomato juice, apple juice mixed with apple cider vinegar, beef broth or water — to the roasting pan by pouring it over the top of the roast. Lower the heat to 300 degrees. Check on the roast every 30 minutes and add additional liquid if necessary to keep the bottom of the pan covered and the roast moist. After one hour turn the roast seam side up. Cover the pan loosely with foil. Cook for another hour.
Remove from the roast from the oven. Place on a plate and let the roast rest for 15 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil.
Carve into one inch slices. Remove the string before serving.
Make a sauce out of the liquid left in the pan by adding a tablespoon of flour for every cup of liquid.
Layer the vegetable filling so it looks attractive when you cut the roast into serving portions.
Add a grated hard cheese such as Parmesan to the filling with slices of salami — or if it’s in the budget prosciutto ham. Use fennels seeds, oregano and garlic as the herbs for an Italian take on the rolled roast.