At least 10 years ago now, I was brave enough to have my grandparents over for dinner and without knowing that they both had dentures, I fed them this. My mom told me about the dentures just as I was serving it and I had one of those "oh, crap!" moments. And held my breath. And watched my grandfather carefully chew for a moment, before he declared, "Good mock duck--we never get this anymore. Enid, how come you don't cook us mock duck anymore?" And I stared at my mom, wondering, what the heck--I didn't cook duck! This is beef! He can't even tell the difference between duck and beef? But eventually they clarified it for me, and we had a really good meal. Sometimes these lean cuts of beef can be really hard to chew, but not this one. Maybe I did an excellent job beating the crap out of it with the meat tenderiser, maybe I just happened to slow-cook it for long enough--either way, it came out great.
There is dairy in this recipe, but you won't actually be able to find the mozzarella once it's cooked. It seems to become one with the meat and act as a kind of tenderiser, disappearing altogether. Like how Parmesan does in tomato sauce.
1 medium flank steak
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium zucchini
2 tbs dried parsley or 1/2 c fresh
1/2 c grated mozzarella
3 tsp Parmesan
1-2 cans crushed tomatoes or diced, stewed tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
|Ready to cook, just sitting in my crockpot...|
Spread meat out on cutting board and pound meat thoroughly. You want to break down all the connective tissues that could make this meat tough. Get all your frustrations out on it! Rub garlic on one side of meat, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Slice zucchini into long, thin strips. Graze mozzarella. Cube squash if you are using fresh. Arrange zucchini down middle of flank steak, sprinkle with mozzarella, half of the Parmesan and half of the parsley. Carefully roll the flank steak so that when you cut it up later, you are cutting across the grain. Tie or pin with toothpicks or skewers to hold it closed.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place rolled flank in middle of roasting dish, spread cubed squash around the meat and pour 2 cans of tomatoes over squash and meat. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, parsley, and add Italian seasoning. Cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Baste 2 or 3 times.
Place tied meat in crockpot, arrange squash cubes around the meat, pour 1 can of tomatoes over everything, add remaining Parmesan, parsley, and add Italian seasoning. Cover and let cook for 10-12 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high. Crockpots vary; check guidelines that came with crockpot.
It was the oven version I fed to my grandparents. It came out plenty tender enough for them to chew. You will notice that the crockpot version only requires 1 can of tomatoes because of the amount of juices that remain in the crockpot when you cook it this way.