Braised Flank Steak with Caribbean Vegetables and Tomato Ragout
Grilled flank steak slices, crusted with cumin seeds and peppercorns, are served atop stewed dasheen, tannia, and sweet potatoes — or turnips, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes, if you wish. Radicchio leaves add their own bitter crunch to the dish. The flank, which is rolled for cooking, gathers flavors from the grill before finishing atop the ragout in a Dutch oven. The dish is served on a large platter and passed at the table.
- Cumin Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Black peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoon
- Beef Flank Steak - 1, about 1 pound, rolled and tied
- Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon
- Lemongrass - 1 stalk, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- Fresh Ginger - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Spanish Onions - 1 (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Dasheen - 1 (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (alt. sweet potatoes, turnips, or rutabagas)
- Tannia - 1, (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (alt. sweet potatoes, turnips, or rutabagas)
- Sweet Potato - 1 small, (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Tomatoes - 2 cups, crushed
- Tomato Juice - 2 cups
- Dry Basil Leaves - 1/4 teaspoon
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Radicchio - 1 head
- Rosemary Sprigs - 1
Toast the cumin seeds and peppercorns in a skillet for 3o to 40 seconds, until they release their fragrance. Place the seeds in a food grinder or mortar and pestle and grind. Coat the steak with the crushed spices.
Light a charcoal fire in a grill using plenty of charcoal and let the charcoal burn until coated with light ash. Spread the coals evenly around the edge of the grill pit, leaving the center open. Set the cooking grate in place.
Place steak on cooking grate and sear directly over the coals for 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Move the meat to the center of the cooking grate, cover, and grill by indirect heat for another 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the lemongrass and ginger and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the dasheen, tannia, and sweet potato and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato juice. Season with basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Place the flank steak on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
To serve: Cut the radicchio in half, remove the core, and cut the leaves into thin strips (chiffonade). Arrange some of the radicchio around the edge of a large platter. Place a serving of thickened ragout in the center of the platter. Remove the strings from the flank and slice the meat on the bias. Overlap slices over the ragout. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.