We are nearing the end of 2020 and what a year it has been! Celebrations will be rather different as well as we will all be staying at home and therefore we need the perfect recipe – something fancy but at the same time warm and comfy for a stay at home celebration.
Matambre a la pizza is the ULTIMATE recipe to celebrate the end of 2020 – Pure comfort food (who does not like pizza!) yet worthy to celebrate the end of 2020! I honestly have no idea why this is not popular in the UK as it ridiculously yummy and such a crowd pleaser. Why add meat to a pizza when you can make a pizza out of meat! 🙂
As mentioned in my previous blog for matambre arrollado, matambre when translated literally means ‘hunger killer’ and it is an extremely popular cut of beef in Argentina. The closest cut I can find in my local butchers is brisket. As it is the breast of the cow, it can often be quite tough so it is cooked in milk to tenderise it.
What will I need to make this ridiculously yummy matambre a la pizza?
- Brisket: My brisket was 1.40kg and quite thick and matambre is usually a thin steak. To make my brisket thinner I butterfly cut the brisket to make it a thinner and longer steak ( it was 50cm or so after the butterfly cut!). I also removed as much excess fat from the brisket before cooking in milk.
- Milk: This is a key ingredient as it tenderises the meat. This works because the calcium in the milk reacts with an enzyme in the meat, softening the meat proteins. The brisket is cooked slowly for about two hours in the milk. This process also removes all the excess fat which could not be removed when uncooked!
- Vegetable stock (optional): You do not need to use stock if you would rather only add milk to the meat however a mixture of milk and vegetable stock brings further flavour.
- Salt and pepper: Obviously very important to season the brisket before you begin cooking it.
- Oregano, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary: This is key when seasoning the steak in the milk before slow cooking in the oven. They are also used when making the tomato sauce. More oregano is used to season the matambre a la pizza when finished!
- Can of chopped tomato: You are going to need to make a tomato sauce for the pizza. To make your sauce you will also need a chopped onion, a garlic clove, mix of herbs (oregano, bay leaves and rosemary), 2 tbsp of tomato puree and a tsp of sugar.
- Mozzarella: Use good cooking mozzarella and LOTS and LOTS of it!
- Thin cooked ham: This is a staple of Argentine pizzas!
- Olives (optional): If you like olives, add some olives on top of the molten mozzarella – it really adds extra flavour to the matambre a la pizza!
This recipe will easily feed 5-6 people!
- 1.5kg brisket – ask your butcher to cut it as thin as possible so you do not need to do the butterfly cutting yourself.
- 700ml-1 litre of semi skimmed milk
- 500ml vegetable stock (optional) – if you do not have stock, use more milk to cover the brisket.
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly chopped rosemary
- 3 Bay leaves
- Dried oregano and thyme
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 chopped onion
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 1tsp sugar (optional)
- Olive oil
- 125g cooking mozzarella
- 90-100g thinly cut cooked ham
- Handful of green olives
- Preheat the oven to 150degree Celsius.
- In a large and deep baking tray, place the brisket so it is lying flat as much as possible. To this, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves. Add dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the milk and vegetable stock onto the baking tray until the brisket is covered. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and slow cook in the oven at 150 degree Celsius for 1 hour 45 minutes. It may take less (or more!) time depending on the size of the brisket.
- Whilst the brisket is slow cooking in the oven, start making your tomato sauce by chopping the onion and heating a tbsp of olive oil in a separate pan. When the olive oil is hot, add the chopped onion and cook until transparent. To this add a chopped garlic clove and cook for a further minute.
- Add the can of chopped tomato to the cooked chopped onions and season with herbs (rosemary, oregano, bay leaves and/or mixed herbs), salt and pepper to taste. Add 2tbsp of tomato puree if you would like a more intense flavour and the teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Cook the tomato sauce for 15 minutes and once cooked, leave to cool.
- When the brisket has slow cooked for the 1 hour 45 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven (don’t switch off the oven, instead increase it to 180 degree Celsius) and place the brisket on a clean board. Use a knife to remove any excess fat which is on the surface of the brisket (should come off quite easily) and herbs.
- Cover the surface of a clean and large baking tray with some olive oil and place the clean, cooked brisket on the tray. Use a spoon to cover the surface of the brisket with some of the tomato sauce.
- Cook the brisket at 180 degree Celsius for 5 minutes. Whilst it is cooking, cut the mozzarella into thin slices.
- Once the matambre and tomato sauce have cooked for 5 minutes, remove from the oven. To this add the remainder of the tomato sauce. Cover the tomato sauce with the slices of ham and finally the slices of mozzarella. Bake in the oven for a further 5 minutes until all the mozzarella has melted!
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle dried oregano and place olives on top of mozzarella.
- Serve with oven roasted potatoes or chips and ENJOY! 🙂
This is honestly unbelievably good and a crowd pleaser! I cannot wait to hear your comments and see your takes on this amazing recipe!
Buen provecho and have a blessed and prosperous New Year! 🙂