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Matambre--What a Nice Thing to do  With a Flank Steak on the Grill
Flank steak is long, thin, fibrous and usually tough even when marinated, grilled and then cut on the bias to serve. Chefs in Argentina and Uruguay came up with a more tender rolled flank steak that, over the years, has become a family staple.  While my research indicates that this dish is more often braised or baked than grilled,  Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook, has a grilled version that I took for inspiration.

The first step to prepare Matambre is the hardest, namely to butterfly the flank steak.  The easiest way to do that is to buy a large one and have your butcher cut through the meat horizontally stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge.  It can then be opened and closed like a book--that's the whole idea.

By the way, according to Reichl, "matambre" translates literally to "kill the hunger," here's how:

Matambre
Yield:  4 to 6
See Abbreviations, if needed

1           large flank steak, trimmed and butterflied
S/P       TT
2           carrots, cut in long strips
5           bacon slices 
1/4C     diced fresh parsley
2           garlic cloves, pureed
2           cloves, well crushed
1t          oregano
pinch    fresh grated nutmeg
1C        Panko or bread crumbs
1/2lb    fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
 

1.  Butterfly the steak, S/P generously and set aside

2.  Cut the carrots into long strips and blanch in salted water for about 4 minutes,
     drain and set aside
3.  Fry the bacon to medium crisp, drain on paper towel, then cut each slice into
     3/4 inch portions (called lardons), save the bacon fat
4.  In a SSB, mix together bacon, parsley, garlic, cloves, nutmeg and Panko
5.  Add a little of the reserved bacon fat and mix to combine
6.  Open the flank steak and nicely layer one side with spinach
7.  Layer in the carrot strips, lengthwise
8.  Top the spinach and carrots with a layer of the bacon-Panko filler, leaving about
      a one inch margin on the open edge so it all doesn't slop out in Step 9

9.  Beginning at the hinged edge, roll up the steak
10.  Tie it together 

11.  Lightly coat the rolled steak with EVOO and place on a very hot grill
12.  Sear the steak to light brown making nice grill marks all around, about 4 minutes
13.  Adjust grill fire to finish the steak with indirect heat, about 25 minutes
14.  Check with a thermometer to 125F center, when done
15.  Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes
16.  Carefully remove the butcher string without unrolling the steak
17.  Hold the steak together with one hand and cut it with a sharp slicing knife into 1.5 inch thick portions.
Note:  a.  At Step 10, the steak can be held in the fridge overnight
           b.  Matambre can be served at room temperature as a buffet offering



 

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