Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chimichurri Steak (from Bon Appetit)

I love Bon Appetit Magazine.  Inspiring and approachable recipes.  GREAT food photos.  Clever writing.

The Grilling Issue from July 2011 is all "fooded up" because of how many times I've referenced it in the last few months in the kitchen while cooking.  One of which was the Chimichurri marinade and sauce.  The truth is, I made it three times before I got all the photos.  I kept making it and forgetting to snap the finishing shots.  I would look the other way and poof- GONE?!  It was that fabulous.

The story goes that a meat loving English man came up with this traditional sauce while attempting to bring wonderful Argentinian meats to the UK.  His spice and sauce combinations became famous while in Argentina, and while his name was Jimmy Curry, his landlady couldn't remember his name after his return home.  The Argentinians continued to remember the great sauce man as "Chimichurri".  Oops, oh well.  I guess it's all about the food anyway, right?

I've been marinading for years, experimenting with different combinations.  I loved BA's breakdown.  I'll summarize in a nutshell:

Acid (citrus, vinegar, wine)
Salt (kosher, soy/fish sauce)
Alliums (food word of the week) (garlic, shallot, onion)
Sugar (syrups, fruit, or baking kinds- all good for creating balance)
Chilies (your choice on the pepper, heat, smoke, or fire)
Herbs (fresh are always better because of the oils they release when broken down)

Chimichurri Sauce/Marinade

2 lbs steak (we tried a skirt steak, a hanger steak and a flank steak- remember I made this recipe three times! They were all excellent.)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
3-4 garlic cloves (you know me, always plus two)
1 shallot (perrrrty little thang always makes me cry!)
1 Fresno chile (or red jalapeno) finely chopped
2 cups minced fresh cilantro
1 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup minced fresh oregano
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Chop your herbs.  The oregano is strong stuff, but necessary.  They are all a lovely blend.  Use a food processor if you have one - it will save you time.

Finely chop your Fresno chile.  These always remind me of Michael Simon (his favorite chile).  I was surprised how much flavor it added without adding much heat.  One of the nights I served the dish to my friend who can't handle black pepper and she didn't even know this guy was in the mix.  The chile just adds a depth to the marinade.

Now, if you want the heat, include the seeds.  I, on the other hand, wanted to keep my friends.

Combine vinegar, salt, garlic, shallot and chile in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

Then add your herbs.  Use a fork to whisk in the oil.

Split marinade in half.  Pour half over your meat of choice in a bag, or glass dish.  Marinate at least 3 hours, preferably over-night.

Put the other half of the marinade in a serving bowl and season with salt to taste, to use after grilling.

Before grilling, pat dry the meat to guarantee a good char.  Chris grilled the meats depending on thinness each time, finishing in a perfect medium/medium rare.

After resting meat 10 minutes, slice against the grain and at an angle (not perpendicular) for ultimate tenderness in each slice.

We plated the meat with grilled corn and a fruit slaw.

Serve with Chimichurri Sauce on top.  Fat chance for left overs.  Get it while you can!


  1. I love that magazine. Cute blog. I live in Vancouver we're basically neighbors :) Super cute blog.

  2. Love your blog! found it through the link your mom put on Stuff Christians Like...what a sweet, supportive mom...I'm a new follower thanks to her. :) By the way, this looks delicious!!