Summer is officially upon us. I don’t care what the equinoxes tell me, it’s summer time when everyone gets that itch to start bar-b-queing, and don’t you tell me you don’t have it, because I can see you scratching. The question then becomes how do we kick things off right? Well ask no more because I have the answer right here – pinwheels.
If you’re not sure what pinwheels are, well then you need to do some chazara (review) of el kosher gastrónomo.
The basic gist of pinwheels is to take a piece of meat, cut it open like a book, put some random good tasting stuff inside, and roll it up like the frat boy that you are.
Come, I show you.
The usual cut of meat for making pinwheels, is a flank steak, comes from the underside of the cow, closer to the back part of the cow. It’s similar in grain to the brisket, but a little tougher. London broil is actually the name of a specific dish which is prepared with a flank steak (but then again, trusting butchers to call things properly is another thing I have beef with….get it? See what I’ve done? I said “beef”…still no? well you see, beef, as in steak, and I said “I got beef with them” as if I’m upset at them…now do you understand??). Now I don’t know the answer to this next question, but maybe one of our astute readers do? (I’m looking at you Rabbi Fresser from Phoenix) My understanding is that in regards to Kosher, we don’t eat past the rib section (hence why the loin section is a no-no), so how is it that flank ok? Unless the “flank” they sell in kosher marts, is really another part of the cow, I don’t know, but I kind of hope not…but I digress.
Anyway, i bought a “London broil” this time around, because to be honest, the marbelization on this bad boy looked way better.
I took it home and butterflied it.
By the way, if you’re wondering why the meat has slashes on the top of it, well butchers will do that, because of the fat that runs on top of the meat, and when the fat cooks it contracts more than muscle fibers do, and will cause the meat to shrink, and slashing it disrupts the fat, and will prevent it all from shrinking uniformly.
Anyway, now is when we fill it, and you can pretty much fill it with whatever. I like to line it first with some thinly sliced meat. This time I used smoked turkey because I had it, but I think a pastrami, or corned beef would be really nice, or maybe even an aged salami (that’s what we did last time).
Then in a bowl, combine some leeks, bread crumbs, olive oil, parsley, scallions, garlic, and honestly, again – any sort of combination will work. As long as some bread crumbs, olive oil, and any member of the allium family is in there, you would do fine (ie – onion, scallions, garlic, leeks…). Add in some some herbs, and boom goes the dynamite.
Spread it on of the meat leaving around 1/2-1 inch border at the edge
I’ve started seeing these soy cheeses around lately, and wanted to give it a try, so I had some on hand, and figured, what the heck, let’s go and stuff some cheese in there.
And now for the hard part – rolling it up. Roll it up, keeping it pretty tight, so everything stays together, and have some twine handy, and start tying it up, starting at the opposite ends, and just continue tying up the knots, progressing closer to the middle.
Yeah, the meat tore a little, but I went ahead with it anyway, because I’m a hardcore boss.
To ensure that the meat stays all snug and happily together for ever and ever, I used this trick I saw once on Cook’s Illustrated. I took a skewer and put it through each piece of twine.
Can you see that the skewer actually pierces the twine? Well that really helps keep everything together, and it does it on the side also.
It’s a little annoying, as you can imagine.
That’s me going crazy. And to be honest, the tip on Cook’s Illustrated was to put two skewers through each twine, but I figured one should be enough, but the meat still didn’t hold as much as I wished it would have. Maybe next time, I’ll do two.
By the way – in order to make sure the skewers don’t burn, I soaked them in water first.
Now we just slice the meat in between the knots, and you have yourself the perfect meat lollypop.
And let them grill until you’re desired done-ness. (Max 4-5 minutes a side, depending on how you like your meat, and well your grill works, it might even be less)
Pinwheels 2 – The Raptur-ing
- Flank steak, or London broil
- Thinly sliced meat (like corned beef, pastrami, aged salami, or turkey if you want it to be “healthier”)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Leeks/scallions/shallots – about 1/2 – 1 cup chopped of whichever
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Soy Cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take your meat and butterfly it open, like you’re opening a book.
- Spread the thinly sliced meats on the steak
- Combine the garlic, leek/scallion…, bread crumbs, olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper, and spread over the steak
- If you’re using the soy cheese, cut it in planks, and spread over top the mixture.
- Roll it up, and tie it in place with twine. Keep about 1/2 – 1” in between pieces of twine.
- Stick at least 1 skewer in the pieces of twine, making sure to go through the twine and come out through the twine.
- Slice the meat in between knots, and grill over high flame to desired done-ness.
- EAT IT