Flank Steak with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Basil

It's meat wrapped in more meat, only classy and rich.

Grilled meat is the best.

Remember the hubbub over the KFC Double Down1, a sandwich where the bread was chicken breasts, and the meat was bacon and cheese? (Here’s a roundup; and here’s an article from the Globe & Mail.) I’ll summarize the links: we’re all going to hell because of that sandwich, fat hell. It’s where you have to turn sideways and suck in to get through every door; it’s where the toilet seats are narrow and low to the ground.

Or are we?

Think of all things you can’t eat if you can’t eat the Double Down: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Kiev and some other dish of chicken stuffed with tasty. The Italians have a word for dishes like this (Involtini); so do the French (Roulade). They know how to eat well (in all meanings of the word), don’t they? Now, if the French and Italians have a word for meat wrapped in meat, should we really get upset about one particular instance?

A world without the Double Down is a world without the wonderful dish I’m about to show you. If that’s the case, send me to fat hell.

Cooking isn't pretty

This dish is simple and straightforward. The one thing you may have trouble with is cutting the flank steak open. Go slowly, making consistent small cuts. Keep your blade flat. Try to start each cut where you ended the last one. Don’t cut the flank steak in half.

If you can’t find fontina cheese, use provolone or mozzarella, or any good melting cheese.

Most cooks and celebrity chefs say that you should only cook with wine you would drink. That’s somewhat true: don’t ever use cooking wine, for instance. But do you really want to blow a $15 bottle on a wine sauce? Only if the queen’s coming to dinner. Until you’re sure of your cooking ability, get the cheap stuff.

Finally, a note on grain: in the second picture, see the “lines” on the meat? That’s the grain. If you slice along the grain (lengthwise), you’ll have a horrible dish; it’ll be like eating meat string. It’s best to cut against the grain.

Goes great for lunch with Ravioli di Ricotta.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 2lbs flank steak
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup basil, loosely packed
  • 3-5 slices prosciutto
  • 3-5 slices fontina cheese
  • 1 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp honey

Mix the red wine, olive oil and shallots in a shallow baking dish. Place the steak in the dish, turning it over to get covered in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Take the steak out of the marinade and blot with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, following the grain of the meat, cut the flank steak in half without cutting all the way through. It should open like a book when you are through.

On one side, place the cheese slices, followed by the prosciutto, followed by the basil. Fold the other half of the flank steak over the ingredients.

Prepare your grill for high direct heat. Start your sauce: combine the red wine, salt and pepper and shallot in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. You can allow this to reduce as you grill the steak. Once reduced, take it off the heat and stir in the honey. Season to taste.

Once ready, place the steak on the grill, 10 – 12 minutes for medium rare, turning once. Note where the fold is and use that as the axis of the turn, otherwise all that tasty will fall out on the grill.

Let rest 3 – 5 minutes. Slice into 1-inch slices, against the grain.

Serve immediately drizzled with the sauce.


  1. I’ve never had one because KFC isn’t bringing this bad boy to Canada []

Jason Kemp is a geek trapped in a cool guy's body. He hand crafts software for the web and mobile devices. He excels at user interface design, the deadlift and barbecue. He is @ageektrapped across the internet.

4 thoughts on “Flank Steak with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Basil

  1. This one looks so mouth-watering!! Definitely not in the same class as the KFC Double Down (that sandwich is just wrong). On a side note, I really love all your food pictures, you should become a food photographer!

  2. Thanks Noriko. If you only knew how many duds I take. I’m slowly working through a book that’ll teach me how to actually use the camera.

  3. I’m trying this out tomorrow for dinner. Noriko’s right–photos are fab!

  4. I just had this with a tomato, onion, basil salad, BC red wine and Canadian music. Great meal. Happy Canada day!!!!! Recipe was perfect and easy.

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