Suzanne of the culinary blog Tea and Mangoes and I collaborated on two matambre recipes for carnival this year. Matambre is a classic Argentinian dish, a filled and rolled flank steak. It’s also an awesome portmanteau of mata (kill) and hambre (hunger).
Suzanne’s creativity and background in nutrition sciences come through in her matambre recipe, which uses chorizo, various leafy greens, herbs and spices, and a wine-broth cooking technique.
My version is a tribute to my Argentinian mom, who focused on parsley, cheese and garlic in her filling; and roasted it in the oven. I also got help from the cookpad recipe by Sabor a Mamá.Jump to Recipe
The cut of meat used for matambre is flank steak or the “fly shaker” muscle of the cow. You can read more about flank steak in this Butcher Magazine article.
Growing up, my mom made matambre on special occasions. We didn’t eat a lot of meat in general, and this dish satisfied my parents’ ethos of spicing and veggifying a somewhat less expensive cut of meat — though the article I mentioned above notes that flank steak’s growing popularity has driven up its price.
Matambre can be roasted in the oven, grilled, or boiled. Once cooked, you can serve it warm or cold. If you decide to eat it later, weigh it down with a heavy plate and refrigerate it so the roll gets tighter. Pair your matambre with a salad, or make a sandwich on a crusty bread roll. You can drizzle chimichurri sauce (recipe also below) over the meat for an extra punch of flavor.
Suzanne and I hope you’ll combine elements from both of our recipes. Let us know in the comments what you made and how you liked it!
Below is the printable matambre recipe, a photo gallery of the process, a video on how to tie up the meat, and a quick classic chimichurri recipe.
Matambre (Argentinian Stuffed Rolled Flank Steak)
Steak and Seasoning
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Paste for Filling
- 100 g milk
- 100 g bread crumbs
- 2 uncooked eggs
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 100 g grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
Large Items for Filling
- 3 hardboiled eggs quartered
- 2 carrots cut long
- 1 red pepper cut long
Browning and Baking
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil for frying (med or light, not EV)
- Several feet of cooking twine
- Remove excess fat from the flank steak and butterfly it along the grain. You want your matambre slices to be against the grain for tenderness and chewability.
- If one side of the meat is more fatty, put that side down so it will be on the outside of your roll and browned during cooking.
- Sprinkle the meat with the black pepper and paprika. No salt because of the cheese.
- Make sure your meat is set up so you will be rolling with the grain.
- In a bowl, mix the milk, bread crumbs and 2 raw eggs,
- Chop the parsley by hand or in a food processor and then add it to the paste bowl.
- Finally, process the cheese and garlic in the food processor and then add it to the paste bowl. I like to use block cheese and the food processor is an efficient grater. You can also use pre-grated cheese.
- Spread the paste on the top of the meat.
- Add the slices of pepper and carrot, and the quarters of egg to the top of the parsley paste. Make sure your rows run along the grain.
- Roll the meat along the grain and then follow the YouTube video instructions below for tying a roast.
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- In a large pan or dutch oven, add 2-3 Tbsp of oil and brown the meat on your stovetop on all four sides, about three minutes each side.
- Cover the pan and put it in the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Let the meat rest at least 10 minutes before cutting it. Alternatively, transfer the meat to a storage container, weighing it down with a plate if possible, and refrigerate it. You can serve it cold or reheat it the next day.
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp oregano (fresh or dried)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (less or more to taste)
- Combine everything in a food processor and pulse. Scrape down the sides, and pulse again until everything is minced and blended.
- Cover, refrigerate and let sit for several hours so the flavors blend.