Matambre, a Meaty Argentine Delight

 

I have always wanted to make Matambre, but thought it was too time consuming… though delicious. You have to butterfly the meat, marinate it for about six hours, stuff, tie, cook in oven for about 1½ hours, cool then press it down with weights or anything that is heavy, refrigerate overnight, cut and serve.

Here is a little history on Matambre:

Matambre is a cut of meat that we know as flank steak. The meat that covers the ribs under the hide. This is a typical Argentine cut and preferred by the Argentine cowboys, or gauchos. The word matambre is in fact two words: matar and hambre. Meaning “mata el hambre,” kills the hunger.

As time went by, the way to prepare this cut of meat evolved from simply grilling it with some salt to the rolled matambre, which is eaten as a cold cut or as an appetizer at parties and special occasions, usually served with Ensalada Rusa.

Matambre is cooked in different ways. Grilled, prepared with cheese and tomato like a pizza, broiled, or marinated and then stuffed and rolled and cooked  stove top or in the oven — and turned into this marvelous cold cut for which there are as many recipes as cooks, chefs, homemakers, etc, are in Argentina and all over the world. I opted for the oven version.

Recipe ingredients:

2 beef flank steaks totaling about 3½ lbs.

5 hard boiled eggs – 4 wedges each egg

2 garlic cloves, minced or put through a garlic press

1 large onion, sliced

½ cup of red wine vinegar

¼ cup virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons of thyme

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

24 ounces (3 cans) beef stock (broth)

12 ounces of baby spinach

6 large carrots cut – quartered lengthwise – blanched

Directions:

1. Butterfly steaks horizontally from the long side.

2. Pound the steaks between plastic wrap. (I did and it was not easy  after paying so much money for these two pieces, you would think they would take pounding. The house shook … the steak remained pretty much the same.)

3. Place the steaks in a bowl with the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and one of the garlic cloves. Let marinade for about 6 hours in refrigerator.

4. Place steaks on a cookie sheet end to end in the direction of the grain of the meat, so they can overlap by about 2 inches.

5. Spread the rest of the chopped garlic, spinach, carrots, eggs, parsley and salt and pepper.

6. Roll and tie (After rolling, I realized I rolled the wrong way  I was tired and a bit frustrated so I left it alone… duh!)

7. Place in pan with the beef stock. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven at 375ºF for 1 hour. Remove pan, turn roll onto other side and cover. Put back in oven for another ½ hour.

8. Remove beef stock and save for future use (this stock was so rich).

9. Loosely cover meat and top with weights. Place in refrigerator overnight.

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