Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Matambre aka Stuffed, Rolled, Grilled Flank Steak

According to the intro to this recipe in "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen, "matambre" means "hunger killer." I think it should mean, "Oh pretty! Look at all the stuff wrapped up into that steak like a spiral! How did they DO that?" Don't decide to do this too late in the day though - it cooks for 1 1/2 - 2 hours! It can be assembled ahead of time though...

For the beef:
1 flank steak (1 1/2 - 1 1/4 lbs.)
6 thin slices bacon
coarse salt & black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbl. red wine vinegar

[You'll also need aluminum foil (heavy-duty might be best) and butcher's string/kitchen twine.]

For the filling:
1 piece (6-8 oz.) kielbasa, or other cooked smoked sausage, cut lengthwise into thin strips [We used precooked smoked Polish sausage.]
4 ribs celery, cut lengthwise in thin strips
2 large carrots, cut lengthwise in thin strips
6 oz. smoked cooked ham (sliced 1/4 inch thick), cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
6 oz. Romano cheese (sliced 1/4 inch thick), cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
[Mr. Kluges said he had a lot of everything left over that wouldn't fit into his flank steak roll.]

1. Butterfly the flank steak - Position the flank steak lengthwise at the edge of the cutting board. Place one hand on top to hold it flat. Using a sharp, slender knife, cut through the side of the steak to butterfly it (open it up). As you cut, fold open the top to help you see what you're doing. Open the meat up like a book.

2. Place a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 24 inches long, on your work surface, shiny side down. (Double up two smaller pieces if needed.) Arrange the strips of bacon on a sheet of aluminum foil, running parallel to an edge and leaving 1 inch spaces between slices. Lay the butterflied flank steak on top of the bacon, with the grain running parallel to the bacon and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and vinegar.

3. Place a row of kielbasa strips at the ege of the meat closest to you, followed by rows of celery, carrots, ham, cheese and bell pepper strips. Repeat this sequence until all the filling ingredients are used up [or you run out of room]. Leave the last 2 inches of meat uncovered.

4. Starting at the edge of the meat closest to you, and using the aluminum foil to help you, roll up the meat with the filling to make a tight roll, like a jelly roll. Wrap the foil around the meat. Twist the ends of the foil to seal the roll. Make shallow holes in the foil all over, and to ensure a perfectly cylindrical shape, tie the roll in a few places with butcher's string. The matambre can be prepared up to this stage several hours ahead. Store, covered in the refrigerator.

5. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. When ready to cook, place the roll on the hot grate and grill until cooked through and the meat is very tender, 1 1/2 - 2 hours, turning with tongs every 15 or 20 minutes. If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 24 to 30 fresh coals after 1 hour. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 180F. Transfer the matambre to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string and foil and cut the roll crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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