Beef Ten­der­loin Stuffed with Herb Pesto

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD -


3 pound cen­tre-cut beef ten­der­loin, trimmed of fat Salt and pep­per 2 cups Ital­ian pars­ley leaves 4 cups basil leaves 4 gar­lic cloves, grated or finely minced 1 cup pit­ted green olives ½ cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, plus a lit­tle more for driz­zling 4 ounces grated pecorino Ro­mano (1 cup) 1 tea­spoon grated lemon zest ½ tsp crushed red pep­per

1. Po­si­tion the meat on a cut­ting board so it is per­pen­dic­u­lar to the board. With a sharp knife, make an 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 to make a flat rec­tan­gu­lar piece about nine by 12 inches. (Don’t worry if it looks a bit ragged.) Lightly pound the meat with a mal­let to make it evenly flat. Sea­son meat on both sides with salt and pep­per. Lay the meat on a bak­ing sheet cut side up and re­frig­er­ate while you pre­pare the pesto.

2. Make the pesto: put pars­ley, basil, gar­lic and olives in a food pro­ces­sor or blender. Sprin­kle lightly with salt and pep­per. Pulse to roughly chop, then add oil and process to a coarse purée. Add cheese, lemon zest and crushed red pep­per and pulse briefly to com­bine.

3. Spread pesto evenly over the cut sur­face of the beef, leav­ing an inch-wide bor­der at all edges. Roll up the meat like a jelly-roll, with the seam on the bot­tom. Tie roll se­curely with butcher’s twine at two-inch in­ter­vals along its length. Driz­zle the sur­face of the roll with oil and rub with your hands to dis­trib­ute. Leave meat at room tem­per­a­ture to sea­son for at least 30 min­utes. (Al­ter­na­tively, wrap and re­frig­er­ate the roast for sev­eral hours or overnight. Re­turn to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore pro­ceed­ing.)

4. Build a fire in a char­coal grill, leav­ing one side of the grill free of coals. Sear the roast on all sides di­rectly over medium-hot coals. Move the roast off the coals and cook over in­di­rect heat, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til an in­stant-read ther­mome­ter reg­is­ters 125 de­grees for medium-rare meat, about 30 min­utes. (To pre­vent over­cook­ing, be­gin check­ing af­ter 20 min­utes.) Let rest for at least 15 min­utes be­fore re­mov­ing twine and carv­ing into ½-inch slices. For eas­ier slic­ing, let roast cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

Tip: Al­ter­na­tively, sear the meat on a stove­top grill or in a large cast-iron pan and fin­ish it in a 375-de­gree oven. The cook­ing time will be about the same.

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