This well-known Argentinean classic is most commonly served chilled as an appetizer or as a component in a buffet, where it would be served with chimichurri.
- Yield: 16 portions (6 ounces/portion)
For Marinating the Steak and Sauteing the Spinach
- 3 lbs Matambre Steak (an Argentinean cut of beef or veal; you can substitute flank steak or tri-tip, if necessary)
- 2 oz Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 oz Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1.5 Tbsp Fresh Oregano, minced
- ½ tsp Crushed Red Chiles
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 oz Vegetable Oil
- 1 lb Spinach, cleaned and stems removed (if large)
- 1 oz Olive Oil
For Stuffi ng and Rolling the Matambre
- ¼ bunch Parsley, minced
- ½ tsp Crushed Dried Red Chili
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 4 oz Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 lb Red Pepper, fire roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips ½ inch wide
- 4 Eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and chopped
For Braising the Matambre
- Marinated Beef
- 2 oz Olive Oil
- 1.5 qts Veal Stock
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
How to Make It
For Marinating the Steak
- Trim the meat of any noticeable connective tissue and heavy fat, but leave any fat that is ¼ inch thick or less.
- If you are not using matambre, butterfl y the meat so the steak is approximately ½–¾ inch thick throughout.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Coat the meat with the marinade and place it in a nonreactive container; refrigerate it for a minimum of 3 hours before proceeding (marinating overnight is fine). For Sautéing the Spinach
- In a large sauté pan, sauté the spinach in the olive oil until the spinach just wilts, tossing as you cook to move the uncooked spinach around the hot pan. Once all of the spinach has wilted set it aside to cool.
- Remove the marinated beef from the refrigerator, and place it on a clean cutting board with the grain going in an east/west direction from where you are standing.
- Season the surface of the meat by coating it with the parsley, crushed red chili, salt, and black pepper.
- Distribute the Parmesan cheese over the surface, leaving an inchwide border across the top and bottom of the steak without cheese.
- Arrange the red pepper strips, chopped eggs, and sautéed spinach in rows going east to west with the grain of the meat spread out so they cover the area that was previously covered by the cheese (press the rows down a bit to spread them out).
- Roll the meat away from you to form a log, rolling up the different fillings as you do so.
- Secure the steak with butcher’s twine at one end; using the looping technique used to truss a stuffed roast, secure the entire length of the stuffed meat. For Braising the Matambre
- Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
- Heat a braising pan over a medium-high flame, and add the olive oil.
- Once the pan is hot, add the stuffed roast and sear it on all sides until it is nicely browned.
- Once the roast is browned on all sides, add the veal stock and rub the pan with a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned spots.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and place it in the preheated oven; cook to desired doneness (approximately 25–30 minutes for rare meat). (Note that matambre is often eaten cool as part of a buffet or as an appetizer, served with chimichurri and salads.)
- If serving hot, remove the meat from the pan and set it aside to rest before carving. While the meat is resting, place a pan with the sauce leftover from braising back on the stovetop, and season it with salt and pepper (you can also thicken the mixture slightly with slurry, if desired). This sauce can be served with the meat.
- If serving cold, remove the meat from the pan and allow it to cool at room temperature for 45 minutes before placing it in an appropriate container for storage. While the meat is cooling, place the leftover sauce from braising back on the stovetop and reduce it to a very flavorful liquid (until about 1.5 cups are left). Season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and pour this over the meat prior to refrigeration.