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Eat This The Night Before Your Big Workout

Some athletes are bypassing pasta bowls to fuel up with red meat. These skirt steak pinwheels will do the trick.

Though most endurance athletes turn to carbs the night before a big morning workout, Dr. Felicia Stoler, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist in New Jersey, is making the case for steak: “Carbs give you instant energy, but red meat has iron that helps your red blood cells carry oxygen to your muscles—exactly what you need during a long workout.”

For the second dish in our red meat recipe series, we’re turning to New York City butcher Pat LaFrieda, the man behind the meat served at high-end restaurants like Minetta Tavern and Del Posto. Though he’s more used to serving chefs than health-conscious, meat-eating athletes, the two have something in common: Both know that, when it comes to what kind of meaty you buy, quality cannot be compromised. 

In the meat case, “look for beef that is a light red, almost pink color, and evenly colored throughout,” says LaFrieda. “Beef with a dark red or purplish hue comes from an old animal and indicates that meat is at the low end of the quality spectrum.”

LaFrieda’s recipe for Skirt Steak Pinwheels, from his new book MEAT, can be served alongside a simple green salad: It’s easy, impressive and will energize you for a workout the next morning.

Skirt Steak Pinwheels

2 outside skirt steaks, trimmed of excess fat
2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsps. freshly ground black pepper
8 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 lemons
1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Lay the skirt steak out on your work surface and season it on both sides with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the steak, leaving a ½-inch border with no topping. Grate the lemon zest from all 4 lemons directly onto the steak and sprinkle the parsley on top of the lemon zest.

2. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the skirt steak from one end to the other. Tie a butcher’s knot in the center of the roll. Then tie two more butcher’s knots in the center of each side. Cut the roll in half along the first knot (remove the string) to form two wheels of equal size.

3. Heat a grill or a grill pan over high heat. Place the pinwheels cut side down and cook until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Serve one pinwheel per person.

Recipe Copyright © 2014 by Pat LaFrieda.

Get More Red Meat Inspiration:

Roasted Steak with 4505 Meats Chimichurri Sauce

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