Argentina Skirt Steak - Matambre

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins

This is another recipe found for ZWT Event from Steven Raichlen's "The Barbecue Bible". This is what he states in the intro: Matambre (literally, "hunger killer") refers both to a cut of meat and to the series of dishes that are made from it. The cut, which doesn’t exist in North America, is a large, 1/2-inch-thick rectangular muscle from the chest of the cow. Tough but flavorful, matambre is always served well done: the prolonged cooking helps break down the tough meat fibers. The simplest version of matambre-the one served as an appetizer at estancias (ranches) and steak houses in Argentina-consists of the flat piece of the meat sprinkled with spices, grilled, and cut into 1-inch squares to be served on toothpicks. To re-create it in North America, I like to use skirt steak. Skirt steak is a smaller cut than matambre, but the thinness and muscle structure are similar. Skirt steak is more tender, however, so you don’t need to cook it as long. NOTE: Need to allow at least 4 hours to marinade but overnight is best.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Arrange the steaks in a nonreactive baking dish and set aside while you prepare the marinade.
  2. Combine the bell pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Pour over the steaks in the baking dish and toss well to coat. Add the bay leaves, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator, for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill to high.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the spice mixture in a small bowl.
  5. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Drain the steaks and place on the hot grate. Sprinkle the steaks with half the spice mixture and grill, turning with tongs, until medium to medium-well done, about 4 minutes per side, sprinkling with the remaining spice mixture after turning.
  6. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let stand about 3 minutes, then cut into 1-inch squares and serve on toothpicks.
  7. Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main dish.


Most Helpful

We are big fans of skirt steak here (although it is getting really quite pricey)! This was an excellent marinate and spice mixture that really enhanced the flavor of this cut. I made this exactly as posted, but did not cut it into 1-inch squares, but sliced it on an angle. In cooking this cut, it is better to cook medium to medium-well as stated; however, 4 minutes per side is really not long enough. Skirt steak is thicker on one end than the other, so one end will cook to well-done and the other end will still be medium to medium-rare. Be mindful of this. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. Made for Culinary Quest 2014.

JackieOhNo! August 25, 2014

6/11/2013 It took a while to find skirt steak...this is my first time cooking it...I let mine marinade overnight...we really like the flavor but not the steak...I let mine cook for 6 minutes per side and got a nice crispy outside coating...but the steak was really tough and chewy...hubby only ate the outside edges of his squares...I think I will try the marinade on flank steak next time because it really is tasty... Update: 6/26/2013 I tried this with flank hubby loved it...(he didn't even know that it was the same recipe)...this time the meat was very tender but the flavor was still there...we really do enjoy the touch of heat from the red pepper flakes...this is now a keeper...=)

teresas June 26, 2013

I really enjoyed this! Rich, juicy steak; bold flavors of vinegar, oregano, and chile; what's not to love! Normally, I cook my steak VERY rare, but for this cut, you really have to cook it through, or it's like chewing on a rubber band- tasty, but way to chewy. The smoky char you get on the edges of the steak makes it worth cooking for those extra few minutes. I marinated this for about 10 hours, and the flavors were wonderful. Made for ZWT7-Emerald City Shakers

IngridH June 09, 2011

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