The word "matambre" is the name for a cut of beef, as well as the word for "shoe leather". Matambre appears to be a contraction of the words "matar" (kill) and "hambre" (hunger), and it's also the name of a wonderful dish from Argentina and Uruguay: flank steak rolled and filled with vegetables and either cooked over coals or braised in red wine. It's a dish that will definitely "kill" your hunger! (Some people even add bacon or sausage to the vegetable stuffing). Matambre has a beautiful presentation. It's often served as a first course in Argentina, but makes a nice luncheon dish or main course as well.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- 1 1/2 - 2 pound flank steak
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup large green olives (optional)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- Lay flank steak flat on a cutting board and carefully slice it in half horizontally almost all the way, cutting in the same direction as the fibers. Open the steak up like a book, and lay flat.
- Squeeze lime juice over the steak and sprinkle with black pepper, kosher salt, oregano, and minced garlic. Use a meat tenderizing hammer to pound meat until it's flattened and evenly thick, and in the approximate shape of a rectangle. The grain of the meat should run parallel to the long side of the rectangle.
- Lay the spinach leaves over the meat, leaving 1-2 inches of one long side uncovered. Sprinkle the cheese over the spinach.
- Peel the carrots and slice them into quarters lengthwise. Lay the carrots over the spinach, in the direction of the meat fibers. Cut the peppers into strips and spread them over the spinach. Cut the eggs into wedges and distribute pieces over the spinach. Add the olives, if using.
- Carefully roll up the flank steak with the vegetables inside, rolling from one long side to the other, and tie the roll up securely with kitchen twine. Season the outside with salt and pepper.
- To cook on the grill: Wrap the stiffed flank steak tightly with foil, and place it directly on the coals (once they have burned down somewhat). Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is cooked to desired doneness. Unwrap and let cool, then slice crosswise into thin slices to serve.
- To oook on the stove: Brown the flank steak roll in a large stockpot over medium high heat in a little bit of olive oil, until well browned on all sides.
- Add 2 cups red wine and enough water (or beef broth) to cover the meat. Simmer gently until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool, then slice crosswise into thin slices to serve.
- Matambre slices easiest after it has cooled some, and can be served at room temperature with a salad as an appetizer or started course. Serve with chimichurri sauce, or with a sauce made from the wine cooking liquid, if desired.