Mighty Life List
Dec 27 2007

Matambre

Bryan is adventurous about most things, and especially food. Wherever we go in the world, he tries the sausage. Good idea in Germany, but Malaysia? Anyway, lately, he’s taken to trying meat of all sorts, which is how we ended up preparing Matambre for Christmas. Turns out it’s a very typical Argentine dish, and you should know how to make it, because it’s awesome.

It all started when Bryan dragged me into the butcher shop around the corner, and then pointed to stuff while I tried to translate. The conversation with the butcher went like this:

Bryan: What is that?
Me: What is that?
Butcher: Matambre.
Me: What is matambre?
Butcher: Meat and things.
Bryan: I want one of those.
Me: Uh. OK. How do you prepare it?
Butcher: You put it in boiling water for two hours, then freeze it.
Me: In the freezer?
Butcher: No.
Me: Freeze it?
Butcher: No! You freeze it with the post in the sink.
Me: You make it cold?
Him: Yes.
Me: OK. Do you cook it in the plastic and everything?
Him: Yes, yes! Then you break it with the sink.

In answer to my utter confusion, the butcher mimed preparation of the meat, which ended with us putting the roast in the sink and whacking it hard with the bottom of the pan.

Apparently, a lot of people serve it cold as an appetizer, though they don’t put it in the freezer to get it that way. It’s crazy tasty, and a lot like corned beef, except the vegetables are already rolled up inside with a couple of boiled eggs for good measure. That’s why it looks sort of like a severed arm when you first open it up. Delicious.

18 Responses to “Matambre”

  • Jules Says:

    I wondered what the heck that was when I saw it in your daily photo! The egg cracked me up, but now that you’ve explained what it is, I’m tempted to try it! Meat, you can’t beat it as an excuse to get to Buenos Aires.
    Jules
    House of Jules

  • All Adither Says:

    Not sure I could get past the image of a severed arm to enjoy it.

  • Suzyn Says:

    We make it frequently–especially as a dinner party entree–it’s lovely and different. We don’t boil it, however. We use a nice hangar steak or some flat-ish cut and pound it out, and then roll the vegetables and grill it. We haven’t put egg in there–that looks interesting. I serve it with a faux timbale–pearled couscous with pickled vegetables moulded in a small dish.

    Oops–don’t mean to make this a cooking blog! Enjoying the pictures and story about your great trip, Maggie.

  • Suzyn Says:

    We make it frequently–especially as a dinner party entree–it’s lovely and different. We don’t boil it, however. We use a nice hangar steak or some flat-ish cut and pound it out, and then roll the vegetables and grill it. We haven’t put egg in there–that looks interesting. I serve it with a faux timbale–pearled couscous with pickled vegetables moulded in a small dish.

    Oops–don’t mean to make this a cooking blog! Enjoying the pictures and story about your great trip, Maggie.

  • Suzyn Says:

    Poop. Double post. Sorry.

  • witchypoo Says:

    Wrapping my tiny little brain around the concept of boiled, cooled meat being tasty is wearing me out.

  • Laura Says:

    I want to try it just because it looks like nothing I’ve ever eaten before.

    Unrelated: if you haven’t already read this, its beautiful: http://www.idlewords.com/2006/04/argentina_on_two_steaks_a_day.htm

  • Loralee Says:

    Nothing says ‘Deeeelicious’ like a severed limb.

    Mmmm…

  • samantha Says:

    it’s a whole new world of meat opportunities opening up before me!

  • Sue Doe-Nim Says:

    Argentinian empanada have a similar filling (eggs and everything) but are then wrapped in a pastry and fried. I have no idea how you’d stay slim there.

  • Nancypantsy Says:

    looks yum!

    what’s wrong with sausage in malaysia?

  • Veve Says:

    I have no idea if the name means what I think it means(considering my severe lack of Spanish language skills-besides listening to my grandmothers speak it) but doesn’t Mata mean kill? and I swear growing up “ambre” meant hungry…so wouldn’t it be nice if it meant “kills hunger” ??

  • Tami Says:

    Matambre… you keep torturing me with all this delicious foods, I could never make that with the meats they sell here. No offense.

  • Maggeh Says:

    Matambre does mean “hunger killer.”

    Malaysia is not known for its sausages, and food preservation standards are different enough that my weak little stomach couldn’t face the challenge. Bryan has a stomach of steel.

  • Strizz Says:

    That actually does look pretty good.

  • Maria Says:

    Cubans make something similar and call it ‘boliche’ (or at least I think that’s how we spell it).

  • PProp Says:

    More matambre in ’08! Pass the tums.

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