Grilled Beef with Stuffed Tomatoes

The thought of this meal makes me ravenous. Hollow bell-pepper-shaped tomatoes, such as Novogogoshary and Schimmeig Stoo—the best kept secret in tomatoland—enliven meat and potatoes and never fall flat in the oven, even when stuffed to the gills. Serve the steak with a smidgen of Aioli sauce or with a parsley, shallot, and anchovy sauce.

Yields 8 portions


3 Tbsps pure olive oil

8 6-ounce sirloin, rib-eye, or porterhouse steaks, 1 ½ inches thick

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp coarse-ground black pepper

8 thyme sprigs

3 lovage sprigs (optional)

4 garlic cloves, sliced in half

Roasted Potatoes

2 pounds new potatoes, washed

¼ cup pure olive oil

1 head garlic, separated into cloves

4 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

1 Tbsp salt

2 tsps fresh-ground black pepper

Stuffed Tomatoes

1 pound bread, levain or other rustic type

½ cup pure olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1 cup small-diced onions

2 Tbsps minced garlic

2 Tbsps finely chopped thyme

3 Tbsps finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp chopped anchovies

8 medium bell pepper-type tomatoes

Green Beans

1 pound green beans, trimmed

3 Tbsps pure olive oil

2 Tbsps minced garlic

1 ½ tsp salt

1 cup water

2 Tbsps minced fresh marjoram

To prepare the steaks:

  • Pour the oil over the steaks, season them with the salt and pepper, and scatter the thyme sprigs, lovage (if using), and garlic over the top. Marinate for 8 hours or over night prior to grilling.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the roasted potatoes:

  • Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves; season with the salt and pepper.
  • Evenly distribute the ingredients in a casserole dish in one layer. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Shake the pan occasionally so the potatoes roast evenly. Remove from the oven and reserve; if necessary, reheat before serving. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

To make the stuffed tomatoes:

  • Remove the crust from the bread; grind bread to a coarse texture in a food processor. Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and toss with ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Spread bread crumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Toss the crumbs periodically so they brown evenly. Maintain oven temperature at 350 degrees.
  • In the meantime, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a sauté pan and caramelize the onions. Add the garlic and cook until it smells divine.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and incorporate the herbs. Place the onion mixture and anchovies in a bowl and add the bread crumbs when they are done. Reserve.
  • Remove the top of the hollow tomatoes (as you would for a bell pepper) and the seeds. If you have solid round tomatoes, create a cavity for the stuffing by cutting and scooping out some of the core; stuff the tomatoes with the bread mixture.
  • Put the tomatoes in a single layer in a casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

To make the green beans:

  • While the tomatoes are baking, cut the beans into thirds or quarters, depending on their size.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat.
  • Add the garlic. When the garlic has a distinct aroma, add the beans and salt.
  • Toss together and add the water. Cook, uncovered, until the beans are tender. Add the marjoram and toss.
  • Taste and add additional salt if desired.

To grill the steak:

  • Heat the grill.
  • Take the steak from the marinade and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Sear the meat on the hot zone of the grill until caramelized on one side, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip to the other side and sear until medium rare, about 6 to 8 minutes more.
  • Move the meat to the moderate zone and continue cooking to desired doneness.
  • Let the steak rest 5 minutes, then cut into thin slices.
  • Serve with the roasted potatoes, green beans, and stuffed tomatoes.