Wild rice is assertive, requiring other strong flavors to temper its influence. In this recipe the balance comes from the red wine brine, redolent with fruit, rosemary, and olive oil, permeating the flesh of the meat. Because wild rice can take a while to cook, you can streamline the recipe by boiling the rice and preparing the stuffing while the steak is marinating.
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (400° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1¼ pounds flank steak, with pocket cut
1 cup Red Wine–Rosemary Brine
1/3 cup wild rice blend
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely diced onion
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 plum tomato, finely diced
Oil for coating grill grate.
CUTTING A POCKET IN A FLANK STEAK
Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut a slit along the long, narrow edge of the steak. Keep the blade parallel to the steak, and work the knife into the center of the steak, opening up a pocket from one end of the steak to the other. Try to make the pocket as centered as possible, and at all costs do not cut through to the surface.
1. Put the steak in a gallon zipper-lock bag with the brine. Seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as 6 hours.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Bring at least 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the rice is tender, anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the rice blend. Drain. This can be done while the steak is marinating.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and tomato, and cook until the tomato loses its raw look, about 3 minutes. Stir into the rice after it is cooked and drained, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the steak from the brine and discard the brine. Stuff the pocket with the rice mixture and use a skewer to hold the opening closed. Rub the outside of the steak with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
6. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the steak on the grill, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers about 140°F for medium, 16 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 450°F.
7. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then slice across the grain and serve.