Nothing says magnanimity at a barbecue like a whole beef tenderloin smokily charred on the grill. And if you think it’s good grilled using the direct method, wait until you try it spit roasted. In the best Brazilian steak house style, you would bring the tenderloin to the table on the spit and carve it right onto everyone’s plate, providing each guest with a miniature set of tongs to grab the beef as you’re carving it. Each paper-thin slice would be crusty on the outside, sanguine and moist inside, and tender enough to cut with the side of a fork. The drawback to this method of serving is that you, the grill master, will need to make several trips between the rotisserie and the table to recook the tenderloin after each carving, so you can always serve an end cut. It’s far easier to remove the whole tenderloin from the spit, then carve it crosswise into slices. In either case, the beef is seasoned with nothing more than coarse salt and served with nothing more elaborate than a simple tomato-onion salsa. Here’s how they do it at Grimpa, the celebrated churrascaria (grill house) in Curitiba, Brazil.
For a killer Italian version of this dish, thread the tenderloin onto the rotisserie spit, brush it with olive oil and season it with salt and cracked peppercorns as described in Step 3. Sprinkle 3 minced cloves of garlic and 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary or sage or a mixture of the two over the tenderloin. Drizzle a little more oil on top and pat the seasonings onto the meat. Spit roast the tenderloin as described in Step 4. After you carve the tenderloin, drizzle a little of the best extra-virgin olive oil you can buy over it. Benissimo!
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