The third and final entry in the Seashells and Sunflowers Argentine Recipe Contest comes from Norma Torres of New York, New York, USA. Norma, a Latina blogger of Puerto Rican descent, offers up her take on Latin cuisine at her blog Platanos, Mangoes and Me! In the wake of an unfortunate blog meltdown, she's back and better than ever at a brand new Wordpress blog. Please take a moment to visit her blog and say hello.
Norma submitted a recipe for matambre arrollado, a very popular dish here in Argentina. As always, she put her personal spin on this classic recipe, with pleasing results. Norma also provided some background information about matambre, which I've paraphrased below:
Matambre, a cut of beef that Americans know as flank steak, is the meat that covers the ribs just under the hide [a photo of the cut]. The word "matambre" comes from a contraction of two Spanish words: matar (to kill) and hambre (hunger). So, matambre essentially means (and rightfully so) "hunger-killer."
A typical Argentine cut, matambre may be prepared in a number of ways including grilled with a touch of salt, topped with tomatoes and cheese (matambre a la pizza), or stuffed, rolled and cooked – either on the stove-top or in the oven – and enjoyed as a cold cut or as an appetizer at parties or get-togethers.
I served Norma's matambre arrollado this afternoon at a family lunch, and all in attendance gave their seal of approval. The meat turned out tender and nicely seasoned, with the vegetables providing eye appeal and additional flavor.
Matambre Arrollado | Argentine Rolled Stuffed Flank Steak
2 beef flank steaks totaling about 3-1/2 lbs. [I used a large cut of matambre.]
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
3/4 lb. fresh baby spinach
5 hardboiled eggs, cut in wedges [I kept mine whole.]
6 carrots, quartered lengthwise and blanched
1 large onion, julienned
24 oz. (3 c.) beef stock
2 tsp. dried thyme [I used 1 tsp.]
Place the flank steaks on a cutting board, and trim away the silver skin and most of the fat from the meat. With the short side closest to you, butterfly [how-to video] the two flank steaks (cut through the meat horizontally from the long side or follow the technique shown in the video). Using a meat mallet or a heavy pan, pound the steaks between two sheets of plastic wrap.
Place the flank steaks in a non-reactive bowl with the vinegar, oil, one clove of garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate the steaks for about 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Lay the steaks side-by-side with the long sides nearest you; overlap the short sides by about 2 inches. Sprinkle the steaks with salt, pepper, parsley, and the other clove of garlic. Distribute the spinach all over the meat, and then place long, evenly-spaced rows of carrots, onions and hardboiled eggs across the steaks [I lined up the whole hardboiled eggs in a row, end-to-end, along the edge nearest me since I wanted them in the center of the matambre.]
Firmly roll the flank steaks, starting from the long side, and tie with kitchen twine. Close up any loose seams with toothpicks. Place in a roasting pan with the beef stock and the thyme. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 375ºF oven. After 1 hour, remove the pan, turn the meat over, and re-cover with foil. Return the matambre to the oven for another 30 minutes.
Remove the beef stock and save for future use, if desired. Allow the meat to cool, and then loosely cover and top with weights. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator the next day. Slice and serve the matambre with ensalada rusa.
Stay tuned for contest voting instructions – coming up in the next post!
Previous Posts about the Recipe Contest: