Matambre (Beef-and-Vegetable Roll)

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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3 pounds flank steak
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. finely chopped serrano chile, fresh or canned (optional)
1 tsp. salt
4-5 sprigs fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
2 large carrots
1 cup bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed and trimmed of stems
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, sliced into 1/8
cotton string or twine
1-1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf


To prepare the steak:

Butterfly the flank steak by slicing it in half horizontally, toward the grain, to within about 1/2″ of the far lengthwise side (or ask your butcher to do it for you) so that the steak opens up like a book (or butterfly). Using a meat mallet, pound the opened steak until it is 1/4″ thick.

In large bowl combine the onion, garlic, chile, salt, parsley, thyme, and vinegar. Drop the steak into the mixture and rub it well on all sides. Cover and refrigerate the meat for at least 4-5 hours or overnight.

Cut each carrot in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 strips and set aside.

Moisten the bread crumbs with the milk and stir well to make a granular mixture, then set aside.

Drain the steak, reserving the marinade. Sprinkle some salt over the opened steak and then sprinkle with the bread-crumb mixture. Layer the top with spinach pieces and arrange the carrot slices over the width of steak. Place the egg wedges between the carrot slices and top with onion rings. Carefully roll the steak jelly-roll fashion to cover the filling completely. Secure the steak with string tied at 1″ intervals. Tie 2 pieces of the string lengthwise along the steak to secure it further and keep the filling intact.

Place the rolled steak in a large casserole dish or ovenproof dutch oven and add water, bay leaf and the remaining marinade. Cover the dish well with foil or lid and bake for 1 hour in a preheated 350F oven.

Uncover the dish and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the steak rolls to a cutting board and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut them into 1/2″ to 1″ thick slices and moisten with a bit of remaining broth. Eat ’em while they’re hot.

Recipe from Latina Magazine.