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Grilling: Beef Pinwheels

Grilling: Beef Pinwheels

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

With my complete fascination for grilling stuffed and rolled meats, it should come as no surprise that this Mario Batali recipe for beef pinwheels had me from the get-go. You didn't have to sell me on the uniquely Italian and incredibly delicious stuffing, as soon as I saw that photo of rolled beef on the grill, it was my destiny.

Calling for a whole ten inches of tenderloin, the original recipe was a little too rich for my blood, so I opted for the more cost-effective option, flank steak. Nice and beefy, flank is seemingly designed for being butterflied, stuffed, and rolled, but an extra area of caution is needed to make sure the final rolls are sliced against the grain, otherwise the chew on the steak threatens to bring the whole dish into the realm of the inedible.

As far as stuffed meats go, this is currently up there as a top favorite. The two cheeses, salami, and scallions in the stuffing created a very flavorful roll—it was a combination that I probably would never think of, making each bite a tasty surprise.

Adapted from Italian Grill by Mario Batali.

Grilling: Beef Pinwheels

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About This Recipe



  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced salami, cut into 1/4-inch-wide matchsticks
  • 8 ounces Italian Fontina, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 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
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. 1

    In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, scallions, parsley, salami, Fontina, Parmigiano, 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. 2

    Cut ten 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. 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. 4

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. 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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