Italian Style Beef Pinwheels

Most of the time, I prefer my meat to shine in all its glory, with not much more than a simple dose of salt and pepper. But sometimes I get bored with just a hunk of meat on my plate, and I feel the urge to jazz things up a little. When I stumbled across the inspiration for this recipe, the brainchild of Mario Batali, I knew I had found the answer to my dinner doldrums. The original recipe used beef tenderloin, which I find to be pretty overrated and flavorless, but I honestly think that stuffing it like this is a good way to lend punch to an otherwise fairly boring piece of meat. To make it more accessible to the consumer, I have swapped the tenderloin for beefier, and much more budget-friendly flank steak.

I recently heard someone call beef “nature’s best-tasting multivitamin,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Pound for pound, it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat—an excellent protein source, rich in zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Unfortunately, factory feedlot practices and questionable science have given beef a pretty bad rap. But when beef is sourced from reputable, humane origins, you can be sure to harness a wealth of health in one small, very tasty package.

These delicious pinwheels bring that tasty package to a whole new level, taking some simple steps to create a meal that will make you look like a seasoned pro in the kitchen! The stuffing ingredients, reminiscent of braciole (a classic Italian dish traditionally reserved for tougher cuts of meat and braised long, low, and slow), take an ordinary piece of meat and morph it into something ethereal. The assertive flavors of fresh garlic, green onions, smoky salami, and sharp cheese permeate the meat and create a crispy crust that makes my mouth water even as I’m writing this.


1 flank steak or beef tenderloin half, about 2–3 lb. total, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
4 ounces nitrate-free salami, sliced into thin strips
8 ounces “melty” cheese, (favorites are raw cheddar, gruyere, provolone, and fontina), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ground nuts (almond flour, for my grain-free version), or toasted breadcrumbs
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Special equipment: kitchen twine, toothpicks, or skewers


Prepare flank steak by slicing in half, horizontally (parallel to your countertop) into a large rectangle. If using tenderloin, butterfly it or have your butcher do this for you.

Combine stuffing ingredients (garlic through breadcrumbs) in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, mixing with your hands, until stuffing begins to hold together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place butterflied meat on a cutting board in front of you, with the grain of the meat going left to right (this part is important, so your finished product will be most tender). Season meat with salt and pepper.

Spread stuffing evenly onto meat, leaving a little bit of a border along the sides, and a 1/2-inch border on the side farthest from you. Starting from the side closest to you, roll up the beef fairly tightly, pressing any stuffing that falls out of the sides back into the roll. Secure beef roll with kitchen twine, at 1 1/2 inch intervals. (If you don’t have any twine, don’t worry; you can secure final pinwheels with toothpicks or skewers.) Season roll with salt and pepper. For a more secure final product, refrigerate for about 1 hour to let stuffing set.

Slice roll with a sharp knife, in between the kitchen twine, or every 1 1/2 inches. If necessary, secure ends of each pinwheel with a toothpick or skewer so it holds together when grilling (no need to do this if you have tied with twine). Brush each pinwheel lightly with olive oil.

Preheat the grill to high. Clean and oil the grill grates, so pinwheels release easily. Grill pinwheels until deeply browned and crusty on each side, and cooked to desired taste, about 4–5 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before removing twine or toothpicks and serving.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

·chemical-  and hormone-free meat

·wild-caught fish

·pastured-raised, organic eggs

·whole, unrefined grains

·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils

·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners

·pure, clean, spring water

·sea salt

·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at

Related Topics

healthy recipes | whole food nutrition

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