Remember this is half fun and half research. The results of this challenge may not be indicative of whether or not these methods of preparation do what they are supposed to do. Sometimes you just get a poor quality cut of meat that nothing can defeat yet may work wonders for a high quality cut.
The Challenger In Round Two Is:
- Vacuum-packed Wet-aged Matambre
Alright, here we are at round two of The Matambre Challenge. The matambre I used in this round has been sitting tight in a vacuum-packed plastic bag, packed by the supermarket chain La Anonima, for 29 days. Ernest, in the comments section of the Round One post, suggested this so I thought I would give it a try. Another commenter suggested a nice slow cooking might do the trick, and I wanted to do that, but figured I should get the wet-aged meat out of the way first with the cooking style I’ve used before.
As with all wet-aged meats I’ve come across, I gave a good whiff and inspection upon opening the bag to make sure I didn’t have some rancid piece of garbage. I could only detect the typical good smell associated with aged meat(not something that can be easily explained) that has been packed properly, so I was good to go.
This time I cooked the meat alone without any regular plain un-aged matambre to act as the control. Since I was heading into this challenge with the idea of following the typical heat and cooking time I have used before, I just figured that there was no need.
First I scored the meat and seasoned with fine salt, then I cooked it over a medium-low fire for about 30 minutes on each side.
Meat that has been aged is typically much more tender than a freshly butchered cut and it definitely showed here. Overall this matambre didn’t damage my teeth too much. The super thin sections were extremely chewy but that is typical for matambre–literally looks like a piece of leather. Now the thickest part actually came out quite good. Slightly chewy but not to the point where there would be any major complaints–well unless someone had some really bad teeth. The rest of the meat, on the other hand, was about half as chewy as the matambres I’ve cooked before. Good sign! The aging had a lot to do with that but perhaps the meat was of a better quality as well.
If I can find a way to tackle that un-aged poor excuse of a meat that is sold all around me and apply it to a wet-aged cut of matambre, then I think we’ll have a winner.