It's important to remember that matambre isn't a tender cut of meat and some Argentines suggest soaking it in milk before cooking to soften it, although others deny that this has any effect!
This recipe illustrates the versatility of matambre. Here, it is not stuffed or rolled but simply trimmed and topped with ingredients you would a pizza.
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) matambre or beef flank steak, excess fat trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- 100 g (3½ oz) provolone, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ají molido (dried capsicum/pepper flakes)
- 45 g (1½ oz) black Spanish olives
- 3–4 small basil leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat a barbecue grill to high.
2. Trim the meat to make a rough rectangular shape. Rub the oil over the steak and season with salt and pepper. Place the steak, fat side up, on the grill and cook for 7–8 minutes, until well browned. Turn the meat over and spread the tomato paste over the cooked side of the meat, then top with the tomato, cheese, oregano and ají molido. Close the barbecue lid or cover with an upturned deep baking dish and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the meat is cooked through.
3. Transfer to a serving platter or chopping board and rest for 10 minutes. Scatter over the olives and basil and cut crossways into thick slices to serve.
Recipe from The Food of Argentina by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz, Smith Street Books, RRP $44.99