Beef braciole is traditionally made with slices of top round or a similar cut, pounded thin and wrapped around a savory filling, and it’s a mainstay at street fairs. Here is a more refined version, all the lusty flavors of braciole wrapped up in a butterflied tenderloin–and the results are spectacular. You can have the butcher butterfly the meat, but it’s easy to do yourself (see Note). Be sure to buy good salami for this dish, from an Italian market or, even better, from www.salumicuredmeats.com.
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 4 ounces thinly sliced salami, cut into ¼-inch-wide matchsticks
- 8 ounces Italian Fontina, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ cup toasted bread crumbs
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- One 10-inch-long beef tenderloin roast cut from the heart of the tenderloin (2½ to 3 pounds), butterflied (see Note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, scallions, parsley, salami, Fontina, Parmigiano, and bread crumbs and mix well. Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and mix well with your hands or a spoon. Set aside.
Cut six 15-inch-long pieces of kitchen twine. Open out the beef, season on both sides with salt and pepper, and place it on a work surface so a long side is toward you. Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the beef, leaving a ½-inch border along the side farthest from you; press and gently pack the stuffing mixture onto the beef to keep it in place (you may have a little stuffing left over–it makes a great panini filling). Starting from the side nearest you, roll up the meat like a jelly roll, pressing any stuffing that falls out of the ends back into the roll, and tie tightly with the twine, spacing the ties evenly (it’s easier if you have a friend to tie the beef while you hold the roll together). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to make a compact roll, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.
Carefully unwrap the beef roll and, using a very sharp knife, cut it between the ties into six thick pinwheels. Brush gently on both sides with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Gently lay the pinwheels on the hottest part of the grill and cook, unmoved, for 5 to 7 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn each pinwheel over and cook for about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. (Don’t be alarmed if some of the cheese in the stuffing starts to melt and char on the grill, making kind of a savory Florentine-cookie-like thing; but if you find it charring too much, move the pinwheels to a slightly cooler part of the grill.) Transfer to a platter and serve.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving, and using 2 1/2 lbs of beef tenderloin.