Know your Argentine Beef Cuts: Matambre

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Yummy matambre, that Argentine appetizer.  You know it when you see it, rolled and cold with hard-boiled egg and veggies and spices then sliced across the grain.  But that´s matambre the dish …what is matambre the cut?  The call it malaya in Chile, suadero in Mexico …and “rose meat” in English (if that last one sounds like a pornstar …it is.  Googling images of rose meat is NSFW.)

There isn´t a lot of agreement on what part of the beef animal matambre comes from.  The above helpful diagram from ArreBeef probably gives a good indication as to what passes for matambre in Argentina.  However, other sources mention matambre (rose shoulder) that extends beyond that area.

Another name for matambre is “fly swatter” …and that´s a clue as to what it really is: a subcutaneous muscle that the animal uses to twitch its hide in order to shake-off flies or any bothering thing that touches its skin.

Another name is “elephant ear” from the shape of a common cut of the meat.

It is a “fast muscle” or smooth muscle as opposed to a “slow muscle” like that of steaks.  As such, it is not tender and needs special care in cooking so that it results in something tender.  Slow muscles are red, fast muscles are rather pink …hence the “rose” designation …but it is full of beef flavor.  Fajitas and flank steaks come from parts of the matambre.

Dig it!  It´s delicious and full of meaty goodness.  Use a low-and-slow method without letting it dry-out and you´ll have something tasty that you base a lot of deelicious recipes.



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