Rolled Flank Steak with Prosciutto and Basil


Bruce Aidells, a cookbook author and the owner of Aidells Sausage Company, likes this recipe because it looks hard to make but isn't. And it's great for all seasons. In the summer Aidells grills the steak in a kettle barbecue and in the winter he roasts it in the oven.

Rolled Flank Steak with Prosciutto and Basil
Photo: © Anna Williams


  • 1 cup coarse dry bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian Fontina cheese (3 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped (1 1/2 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3/4 ounce)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme

  • One 2-pound flank steak

  • 5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

  • 1 cup basil leaves

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Light a hot fire in a grill or preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the parsley, Fontina, olives, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of thyme.

  2. Lay the steak on a work surface with a short edge facing you. Press one hand flat on the meat to steady it. Using a long, sharp knife, make a horizontal cut in a long side of the steak to within 1/2 inch of the opposite edge. Open the flank steak like a book.

  3. Cover the cut side of the steak with the prosciutto slices, then top with a layer of basil leaves. Spread the bread crumb mixture on top. Starting with the side facing you, tightly roll up the steak around the filling. Using kitchen string, tie the roll in 4 or 5 places.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of thyme with the salt, garlic and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the rolled steak.

  5. Bank the coals to one side of the grill or turn off one side of the grill. Grill the steak over high heat until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes; turn the steak 4 times as it cooks. Move the meat away from the direct heat and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant thermometer registers 120° to 125° for medium rare. Alternatively, heat a large ovenproof skillet. Add the rolled steak and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the steak for 20 to 30 minutes, or until an instant thermometer registers 120° to 125° for medium rare. Transfer the rolled steak to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Discard the strings and slice the steak crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Serve.

Make Ahead

The rolled flank steak can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.


Dress It Up Make chimichurri sauce: In a food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley with 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 2 quartered garlic cloves. Add 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil; process to blend well. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Pass the sauce separately.
Dress It Down Make steak sandwiches: Thinly slice any rolled steak leftovers and serve them on toasted baguette. If you like, stir some chimichurri sauce into prepared mayonnaise and spread over the meat.

Suggested Pairing

A young, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon will stand up to the grilled beef. The creamy cheese and bread crumb filling will tame the wine's tannin. Look for one from Chile's Rapel Valley or from California's Sonoma County.

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