Matambre (Rolled Stuffed Flank Steaks)

Total Time:
3 hr 32 min
Prep:
1 hr 20 min
Inactive:
2 min
Cook:
2 hr 10 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 (2 1/2-pound) flank steaks, butterflied and pounded thin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 slices raw bacon or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Argentine red wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, garnish
  • Grilled Eggplant, recipe follows
  • Salsa Criolla, accompaniment, recipe follows
  • Essence:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Grilled Eggplant:
  • 2 medium Italian eggplants (10 to 12 ounces each), ends trimmed, and cut into 3/4-inch rounds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salsa Criolla:
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 hot green pepper, or to taste, seeded and finely chopped
Directions

Generously season both sides of the meat with the Essence, salt, and pepper. Lay steaks out on a clean surface with the grain running horizontally toward you in order to slice the cooked Matambre across the grain for more tender meat. Scatter 1 tablespoon of the garlic over both steaks and cover with spinach leaves, leaving a 1/2-inch margin. Top each steak with the carrots and eggs, and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Carefully roll the meat over the filling in a tight, jelly-roll style and secure closed with kitchen string.

In a heavy Dutch oven or casserole, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.

Add the rolled steaks to the hot bacon fat and cook until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove the steaks and set aside.

Add the onions to the fat in the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of garlic, the bay leaves and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen the browned particles. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Add the steaks to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cover and slowly simmer until the meat is fork-tender, about 1 1/2 hours, turning meat once halfway through. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before removing the kitchen strings and carving.

Return the baking dish to the heat and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced and thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the reduced sauce from the heat, add the reserved bacon, and adjust the seasonings, to taste.

To serve, arrange the carved meat on 4 or 6 large plates. Spoon a little of the thickened sauce over the meat and top with the onions. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with the Salsa Criolla and Grilled Eggplant on the side.

Essence:

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from ?New New Orleans Cooking?, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Grilled Eggplant:

Place the eggplant in a colander and toss with the salt. Let sit over a bowl and stand for 1 to 2 hours, tossing occasionally.

Preheat the grill. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the eggplant rounds in the oil mixture and grill until marked and golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the grill and serve immediately.

Salsa Criolla:

In a mixing bowl, mash the garlic and the salt with the back of a fork to form a paste. Stir in the red wine vinegar. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil slowly to form an emulsion. Add the black pepper, and whisk. Add the tomatoes, onions, pepper, and parsley. Toss to coat and set aside 30 minutes before serving. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve at room temperature with the Matambre or other beef dishes.

Yield: About 4 cups


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