What is Argentinian food? Beef, you thought beef, right? And right you are. Beef is central to the, but beef never becomes boring in Argentina. There is more than meets the grill. Argentina has a complex social mix of immigrants. In many ways, it could be described as Mediterranean country with a large influx for decades from the Middle East and Italy, a pattern that has existed since the 1850s. Today, people from around the world come to Argentina, which has become the melting pot of South America.

This recipe seems to have Italian influence. Chard, garlic, cheese, olives, parsley, bell peppers and hard-boiled eggs are combined into a filling that goes on top of pound flank steak. Roll it up, cook, cut it, and marvel at the beauty. There is a cascade of flavor and textures here, all surrounded by the warmth of beef.

This is a dish you can prepare in less than an hour, plus an hour for cooking. It is a dinner table masterpiece that you’ll be snapping pictures of as you enjoy each bite.


Matambre

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

For the beef:

  • 2-pound flank steak
  • 6 leafy stalks red Swiss chard
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, stoned/pitted and roughly chopped
  • Small bunches of fresh flat-leaf parsley, marjoram and oregano (leaves only), roughly chopped
  • 2 roasted red (bell) peppers
  • 6 hard-boiled/cooked eggs and peeled
  • 6 bay leaves
  • Olive oil, to drizzle
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to season

Marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram and sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried chili/ hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Preparation:

Rinse the steak under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Put the meat between two pieces of cling film/plastic wrap and, using a mallet, pound the meat until it is paper thin, being careful not to tear it. Remove the cling film/ plastic wrap and place the steak in a ceramic dish. Mix together and pour over the marinade and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5. Remove the steak from the fridge and lay out on a large piece of cling film/plastic wrap.

Finely julienne the chard and put in a mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, olives, parsley, marjoram and oregano and mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the chard mixture evenly over the steak until you have completely covered it, then layer the peppers on top. Lay the boiled/cooked eggs in a row down the center of the steak.

Taking the side of the steak nearest to you, roll up the meat like a cigar.

Tie securely with kitchen twine at even intervals along the steak, making sure you tuck the end in. Lay in a roasting pan and slip the bay leaves under the twine. Season generously, with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil.

Cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour, then remove from the oven. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut thick slices and serve hot. The perfect side is potato salad.


Source: 100 Ways with Eggs from Ryland Peters & Small, 2016