Hungarian Stuffed Flank Steak with Carignan

A couple weeks ago I showed a picture of a Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels statue, which I had taken in downtown Budapest in 1990, to my Hungarian friend, Mihaly. He immediately recognized it and asked, “What year were you there? This statue is hidden in a park now, because it doesn’t go well with capitalism.” His comment made me wonder what it would be like to live in a place which has evolved from a “classless society” to a “capitalist society” in a short period. I hope Hungary has turned into a wonderful “land of opportunity” where everyone can climb up the social ladder with hard work while still treating all social classes with a sense of compassion. With that thought, I’m making a Hungarian flank steak stuffed with green pepper, onion, sweet Hungarian paprika and other goodies deliciously blended into one melting pot.

To start, I stir fry 2 strips of bacon (chopped) in a pot and add 1 onion (chopped) and 1 green pepper (chopped) to sauté in bacon fat. Next, I add ¼ lb ground beef to the pot and cook until lightly browned. Then I turn off the heat and mix the mixture with 1 Tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Separately, I lightly season very thinly sliced 2 lbs flank steak with some sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Then I spread the stuffing over the inner surface, roll the steak & tie with strings at 1 inch intervals. Next, I heat the pot with some extra virgin olive oil and sear the rolled steak. Lastly, I add 14 oz of beef broth to the pot, cover and simmer over low heat until the beef turns tender.

I am pairing this Hungarian stuffed flank steak with a 2007 blue cellars Carignan from Santa Clara Valley, California. Exploding with the intense flavors of tart blackberry, plum and smoky pepper, this full-bodied, dry red wine is a fabulous companion for the full-flavored, smoky Hungarian dish. The high acidity of the wine, which balances out its mouth-drying tannin, makes the tender flank steak filled with creamy, “sweet” stuffings stand out impressively. In the “capitalist”, post communism-era Hungarian society, this pairing would rank on top of both flavor and texture.  How deliciously a wide range of different flavors and textures blend in together and melt like butter in the mouth! I hope everyone from all “classes” enjoys this discovery of Hungarian taste and a pairing with the awesome wine! Happy cooking!

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