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Aug 1, 2013 11:57 AM

How Do You "Spiral Cut" a Tenderloin?

There's a recipe for a Churrasco with Chimichurri by Michael Cordúa in the July issue of Food and Wine, and I can't figure out how to "spiral cut" a 2lb tenderloin center. The instructions say:

". . .make a 1/4 inch lengthwise cut in the top of the tenderloin. Turning the tenderloin and rolling it out as you go, spiral cut the meat until you have a long, rectangular piece about 1/4 inch thick."

I imagine that the knife would follow a diagonal, candy-cane sort of line along the length of the tenderloin, but should the knife be held perpendicular to the board as I cut, or should it be angled somehow?

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  1. "Spiral cut" is a misnomer. What you do is cut it so it basically unrolls like a roll of toilet paper. Knife is parallel to the grain. Make sense?

    1. What you would do is lay the tenderloin on your cutting board. Now make a cut along the length of the tenderloin 1/4 inch deep. Then start cutting just underneath the cut so that you are cutting the meat into one long, thin piece. Picture a pencil sharpener -- you want to cut the top layer all the way around, then go around again into the second layer, then the third, etc.

      1. The notion of "spiral" comes from what you'd see if you roll it back up again -- it would look sort of like an empty jellyroll.

        1. Here's a video for you, if it's hard to picture in your mind:

          1. I knew you guys would be able to explain it to me! Thank you, rjbh20, boogiebaby, travelerjim, and gmm!

            After reading your explanations and watching that spot on video clip, I realize that I must have a gift for complicating matters. I shudder to imagine what I would have inflicted on that tenderloin had you folks not stepped in.

            I'm off to buy a tenderloin and will be sending grateful vibrations your way while I do a "spiral cut".