You’ll need to visit a butcher to get the right cut, and then butterfly the roast into a flat rectangle — a fun project, if you’re up for it.
For many, a summer gathering means meat on the grill, in the form of burgers, chops, ribs or sausages. I’m all for those, but sometimes a more elegant type of party is in order, one with a tablecloth, china, real glasses and silverware — a dinner table moved outdoors.
If you’re heading in that direction, consider grilling a beef tenderloin roast with zesty, garlicky pesto swirled inside. Not a whole beef tenderloin, though. I’m talking about a cylindrical center-cut chunk.
You’ll need to visit a butcher for that, since it is a somewhat special request, a cut of meat not normally kept at the ready. Ask for a nice 3- to 4-pound roast from the middle of the tenderloin.
To achieve the spiral effect, the roast will need to be butterflied into a flat rectangular shape. Of course, you can ask the butcher to do it for you. But it’s really not very difficult to do, and a fun project if you’re up for it. This is not the standard butterfly technique, however. Instead of slicing part way through a fat steak, say, and laying it flat like an open book, here we gradually flatten a larger cut for more surface area.
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Here’s how: Position the meat on a cutting board so it is perpendicular to the board. With a sharp knife, make a 1-inch-deep incision along the length of the roast. Then use a sawing motion as you continue to cut, moving the knife down and to the left; with your fingers, begin to pry open the roast. Continue cutting, flattening the meat as you go. As if by magic, you will quickly produce a large rectangular piece. Congratulate yourself. Don’t worry if it looks a little ragged; it will be pounded with a mallet to an even thickness.
The pesto I use has green olives and sharp pecorino in addition to parsley,…