Matambre

A well-known Chilean and Argentinian dish, Matambre (mah-tum-breh) means literally hunger killer. Steak is pounded until thin, stuffed with vegetables and hard-boiled eggs and then rolled and baked in the oven.

When you order your meat, ok ‘he butcher to flatten it out as thinly as possible. Serve Matambre with boiled new potatoes and a dry red wine.2 lb. skirt or flank steak, made up of

2 or

3 large steaks, pounded very thin

6 fl. 07.. red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

3 lb. spinach, cooked, drained and chopped

12 small young carrots, scraped and cut in half lengthways

8 slices of back bacon, rind removed and grilled

4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

1 fresh red chilli, seeds removed and very finely chopped, or

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Place the meat in a large shallow dish. In a cup, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Pour the marinade over the meat. Leave to marinate at room temperature for 6 hours, basting and turning the meat occasionally.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Using tongs, remove the meat from the dish and drain it on kitchen paper towels. Discard the marinade.

Lay the two or three pieces of meat out flat on a large wooden board, each piece of meat overlapping the other by about 2 inches. With a wooden mallet or the flat surface of a meat cleaver, pound the two or three ends together so that you are left with one very large thin piece of meat.

Spread the spinach in a thin layer on the meat, leaving a 2-inch margin on all sides.

Lay the carrots, side by side, in four rows across the meat. Lay the bacon slices and the hard-boiled eggs over the carrots. Sprinkle the entire surface with the chilli or chilli powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Roll up the meat tightly, tucking in the sides as you go until you have a neat parcel. Tic the roll at 1-inch intervals with string. Place the roll in a large baking tin. Pour in enough cold water to come halfway up the sides of the meat and cover the tin tightly with aluminium foil.

Place the baking tin in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

When the meat is cooked, turn the oven off and leave the matambre in the oven with the door open for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to carve.

Transfer the meat to a carving board. Cut away and discard the string. Carve the meat into thin slices. Arrange the slices on a heated serving dish and serve immediately.

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