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Episode 402: Rolled, Stuffed, and Grilled

Cajun Matambre (“Hunger Killer”)

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Cajun Matambre (“Hunger Killer”)

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
  • Method: Direct grilling

Ingredients

  • 1 large flank steak (1-1/2 to 2 pounds) 
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, plus more for the sauce

For the filling: 

  • 6 ounces andouille sausage or kielbasa
  • 6 ounces tasso ham or smoked cooked ham
  • 6 ounces aged provolone cheese or Pecorino Romano
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 long carrot, trimmed, peeled, and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 3 hearts of palm

  • 6 thin slices of bacon

You'll also need:

  • 1 A large piece of aluminum foil (about 24 inches)

Recipe Steps

1: Butterfly the flank steak:  Place the steak at the edge of a cutting board, short side toward you.  Using a long slender knife, butterfly the meat, that is, cut it almost in half through the narrow edge of the long side and open it up as you would a book.  Pound the center flat with the side of a meat cleaver.   The idea is to obtain a square of meat that’s about 14 inches long and wide.   Rest easy: the hard part is over. Season the inside and outside of the meat with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.

2: Cut the sausage lengthwise into 4 strips.   Cut the ham and cheese into ½ inch wide strips.   Cut the pepper flesh off the core in 4 sections and cut each lengthwise into ½ inch wide strips.  Cut the carrot in quarters lengthwise.   Cut the hearts of palm lengthwise in halves or quarters.

3: Place the foil rectangle on your cutting board.   Arrange the bacon strips on the foil in parallel rows, leaving 1 inch between each.  (The strips should run parallel to the bottom edge of the cutting board.)  Place the flank steak, cut side up, on top of the bacon, so that the grain of the meat runs parallel to the bacon. 

4: Arrange andouille sausage strips, end to end, along the edge of the meat closest to you to form a neat row.   Place rows of yellow and red bell pepper strips next to it.   Then a row of cheese strips, then carrot strips, then green bell pepper strips, then ham strips, then hearts of palm.  Repeat the sequence once more.   Leave the last 2 or 3 inches of meat bare.

5: Starting at the edge closest to you and using the foil as an aid, roll up the meat with the filling to make a compact roll.   It’s a lot like rolling a jelly roll.   Twist the ends of the foil to secure the roll: you should wind up with what looks like a large Tootsie Roll.    Poke a few holes in the foil at each end to release the steam.  The hunger killer can be prepared several hours ahead and refrigerated. 

6: Set the grill up for direct grilling and heat to medium.

7: Place the meat roll on the grate and grill until the flank steak is cooked through and very tender, about 1 hour, giving the roll a quarter turn every 15 minutes. To test for doneness, insert the probe of an instant-read meat thermometer in the roll; It should read 180 to 190 degrees. Transfer the hunger killer to a cutting board and let it cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil.  Cut the roll crosswise into 1-inch slices and serve with dollops of Remoulade Sauce on the side.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 4:

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2022 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein