Pinwheels

Remember the other day I told you I wanted to make pinwheels, well can you guess based on the title of this post what I made? You betcha…so here’s the scoop – these were fantabulous, literally – I had to invent a new word to describe how amazingly, fantastic it was. But first I have to set the record straight. Pinwheels are not skirt steak just rolled up into a fake pinwheel. In my opinion there’s two reasons – 1) I don’t like skirt steak so much, because it’s salty and chewy, and it’s impossible that some one would have made pinwheel with something I don’t like, but mainly 2) if you ever look at how a skirt steak’s grain runs, you’ll see that a big reason why it’s really chewy is because most people don’t cut the steak against the grain, and cutting against the grain makes a big difference. You see, the fibers that make up meats are pretty tough, and when you cut against the grain, you have little remnants of individual fibers, and therefor not as tough. Whereas, cut with the grain, and you have more pieces of fiber intact, thus harder to chew. So if you just take a skirt steak and roll it up, it’s gonna be very chewy.

Being that I wanted to set the record straight once and for all, I set out to make this delicacy the right way, and the right way is to make this with a flank steak (well technically, purists might say the right way is with a tenderloin, but 1) it’s not kosher, and 2) even those said purists will opt for a flank steak instead of a tenderloin because of the price difference..). I found this recipe on Serious Eats, which is a great web site, and have great articles if you have any interest in that stuff, which you probably don’t…so yeah…

Anyway, roulades (which is any type of rolled up piece of meat) usually has some sort of filling, cheese, and some sort of sliced meat, like aged salami or prosciutto. As you know, cheese was out, and so was the prosciutto…oh well, we’ll have to make due without, as usual.

To make the filling, I took the chopped up parsley, minced garlic, cut up leeks, bread crumbs, and olive oil, and combined it all.

I took the sliced salami, and cut it up into thick matchsticks.

And combined them all together.

Now onto the meat, you want to orient the steak so the fibers are running parallel to you. Meaning, make a line that connects both of your ears, and the fibers should be parallel to that, or if you want, you can make a line extending from your nose, and the fibers should be perpendicular to that line, confusing? good. The reason you do this, is that the finished product will be oriented so when you cut it up, it will be against the grain.

Take the meat, and with a sharp knife, you want to butterfly it.

Start by cutting a slit

and continue to cut, and open it up. At the end it should look like you opened up a book

Like this:

The dotted line is the middle of the meat after it’s opened up. Meaning it was the other end before I cut it. Am I being unnecessarily confusing, because I promise, I don’t mean to be.

Now, take the filling, and spread it on there, and leave a 1/2″ border on the side opposite you

and then roll it up starting from the side closest to you, like you’re rolling up a jelly roll. Why do we still compare rolling these stuff up to jelly rolls? I mean does anyone still make jelly rolls?

Once rolled, take some butcher twine, and at like 1.5″ intervals, tie them up, thusly:

You want to make sure the strings are really tight, because they hold them in place when they’re being grilled. If you want, another option, which I didn’t do, is to also stick a skewer through each piece for added security.

Once the whole thing is tied up and ready for the prom, salt and pepper the bad boy, and wrap it in saran wrap, and place it in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight.

There was a lot going on, and I didn’t have time to take pictures and be awesome at the same time, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

As with every meat, you want to take it out of the fridge at least a half an hour before putting it on the grill to let it get back to room temperature.

When you’re ready to get going, pre-heat the grill, and cut the roulade into pieces with a sharp knife in between the pieces of twine, so you end up with the pinwheels.

Take the pinwheels, rub some olive oil on it, and put some salt and pepper on it. Put on direct heat on medium-high, and grill on each side for like 5 minutes, and that’s it.

Again, sorry I didn’t have pictures of the finished product, but lemme tell you it was amazing. To all those people who have been telling me that they want me to make more meat stuff, this should hold you ever for some time….that’s the type of dish it was.

Oh and you should definitely try this.

Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 -3 scallions or shallots, or leeks thinly sliced (I used leeks, just because I had them, but you can use any of them)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced salami, cut into 1/4-inch-wide matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 flank steak (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and butterflied
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, scallions, parsley, salami, and bread crumbs and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and mix well with your hands or a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Cut ten or so 15 inch-long pieces of kitchen twine. Open up the butterflied flank steak, arranged so the grain of the meat is parallel to you, and season exposed side with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the beef, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the side furthest from you; press and gently pack the stuffing mixture onto the beef to keep it in place. Starting from the side nearest to you, roll up the meat like a jelly roll, pressing any stuffing that falls out of the ends back into the roll. Tie the beef tightly with twine, spacing the ties evenly about every 1 1/2 inches. Season the outside with salt and pepper all over, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours, to overnight.
  3. Carefully unwrap the beef roll and cut between the ties to make the pinwheels. Brush both cut sides gently with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the pinwheels on the grill and cook until well browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a platter, let rest for five minutes, and serve.
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19 thoughts on “Pinwheels

  1. For political reasons I can neither confirm nor deny that I attended the occasion for which this delight was prepared. but all I can say is OMG
    The gastronome doesn’t do it justice,because of my small physique I usually find it hard to eat fast, but when this dish was presented was presented to me I felt like ricky bobby at Talledega, I couldn’t stop!
    I hope one day all of you guys out there will one day take a swim in the pool of the pinweel

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    1. im very humble, but im glad to see my fellow GITs (gastronome in trainings) are speaking up…and the reason why i made this was for you, so we can fatten you up…you’re too skinny…that’s probably why accents gives you kids meals…bc they think you’re a child

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    1. No need to discuss – I am sure it was like buttah. Please make it for next time we are in. I’ll invite Barbara (Streisand).

      Like

  2. After reading this I get why I HAVE TO bring this to Buffalo . . . Cannot wait to taste this!!
    Question – can I use other meat, e.g. London Broil to make this?

    Like

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