Beef Florentine – A great meal entrée for the family!
- Whole Beef Flap Meat – (Sirloin tips) – uncut, trimmed, and butterflied
- ¾-1lb Provolone Cheese – medium sliced
- 2 – Whole packages of fresh spinach – washed and de-stemmed
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Parmesan Romano cheese
- Italian seasoning
- Butcher twine
Some specialty meat markets and grocery stores make their own version of Beef Florentine, but sadly these (Sam the Butcher) type of specializations are few and far in between. However, if you are in the do-it-yourself mood and want to impress yourself, family and friends with a quality meal, then try this recipe while learning a skill!
You will need to speak with your local butcher on getting a whole piece of flap meat. This is the cut of beef that is normally referred to as sirloin tips in its refined form. What will be needed is for this cut of beef to be butterflied. "Butterflied" is a term meaning to split the middle and flay it open forming the shape of a butterfly. It is needed in order to be properly stuffed, rolled, and tied.
For instructional purposes, (in case you are going to attempt this yourself) take a sharp non-serrated knife and make a line as a guide along the middle longitudinally or in the middle of the meat. This will give you a good indication as to where to begin thinning or butterflying the flap meat. The trick here is that you want to separate the meat evenly while keeping it in one piece. When you are cutting use smooth motions rather that stop and go. This will help to separate evenly and easily. After you have completed this, lay the meat out over your cutting board. Even out any thick area and gaps that might be present.
Now that the butterflying part of the battle is completed, here comes the fun parts. In a bowl, have the fresh spinach available (de-stemmed and cleaned). You are going to mix Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and parmesan romano cheese in with the spinach. Use generous portions of all three ingredients. Don’t worry about overpowering flavors, because they meld together nicely. Try a little bit yourself to make sure that it tastes good to your liking.
Generously sprinkle Italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper on the butterflied portion. After seasoned, take the spinach and begin the distribution. It will look fluffy and almost appear that it is too much, but it isn’t. When cooking the spinach shrinks in the process, what looks fluffy at first looks just about right in the end. After all of the spinach is spread, take your provolone cheese and begin to lay it over the spinach. The slices need to overlap so that they appear to be one whole sheet. It is normal to have the spinach and cheese come out of the sides (you can always tuck them back in.)
The next part can be a bit tricky for the untrained: rolling the Florentine. This is where the cheese covering the spinach will come in handy. You want to grab a lip or portion of the beef with both hands and begin to roll it. Here, it is important to be as tight as possible in the initial spin. Continue the roll until it is fully completed. If you find that spinach is falling out then just tuck it back in. Now, you have a fully rolled Beef Florentine. The finishing touch is in tying this thing that you just rolled.
With the twine that you have purchased, place around one end of the Florentine, and slide it to the middle. After you have done this, begin your tie. I use a technique that I learned how to tie roasts with, but I’m sure that your method will work too. After completing the first tie, go to one end do the same and then the other. The ends are often the toughest part. If you notice that they are a bit loose, just tuck the loose spinach back in. From here put a tie every 2 inches or so.
Now it’s completed. From here, refrigerate for a couple of hours to solidify this product. I’ve even seen some freeze it in order to make slicing easier. Slice evenly in between the strings. Now comes the cooking. Heat your oven at 350 degrees. Take your pan and put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of it. The cheese will eventually melt and the oil helps it not to stick. If you’re cooking a couple at a time, half an hour will cook it just right. However; if you like it rare, check it before hand, and if you are cooking it all at once the time will vary as well.
The side dishes are up to you! I hope that you enjoy what either you or your butcher just completed for you!