RECIPE – Grilled Steak w/ Chimichurri

By Henry Gould – Aug 6th, 2018

Folks, let’s get real. It’s the middle of summer, the temperature is nudging 30 degrees celsius, and the last thing you want to do is turn your kitchen into a sauna.

The answer? Your trusty outdoor BBQ. Whether you use gas or charcoal, a BBQ allows you to get some late afternoon sun, have a drink, and avoid the inhumane idea of turning your oven on in August.

Grilled steak is nothing new, but this recipe urges you to check out some different cuts (preferably from a good butcher or supermarket), season well ahead of time (a few hours, or overnight), grilling very hot and then serving with an zingy Argentinian chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri is a sauce seen throughout South America, but is particularly popular in Argentina served with beef. It can be as simple as chopped parsley, vinegar, salt, oil and shallots, or more elaborate with the addition of spices, chilies, and different herbs. The version I like to make includes a few different herbs (parlsey, mint, dried oregano), a few spices (cumin, coriander) and even a swig of brine from your caper or pickle jar (the secret ingredient).

Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS

  • Steak (hanger steak, bavette, entrecote, flat iron, skirt or flank are all very delicious cuts, which any good butcher can get for you)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch italian parsley, washed and dried
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 pinch of dried Greek oregano
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Wine or Sherry Vinegar
  • Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1-2 Serrano Chilis (optional)
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 pinch coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1-2 tablespoon caper or pickle brine

Whichever steaks you’re using, season generously all over with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Contrary to what you’ve heard, this will not dry out your meat but will actually dry brine it (the salt pulling out the moisture, then re-absorbing into the meat after a few hours). The result is a more evenly seasoned steak which stays juicier during cooking.

For the chimichurri, use one really big bowl to mix everything in, then a smaller bowl for serving.

Chop the parsley and mint very finely, then add to your big bowl. Add the shallots, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, chili flakes and serrano chilis (optional) then mix with quite a bit of extra virgin olive oil. You want the sauce to be loose. Also, adding the oil before the salt or vinegar helps maintain the bright green color of the herbs by coating them in the oil.

Season the sauce with salt and the brine of choice, then add some vinegar and mix. The brine may seem like a weird addition, but there’s something about the salty liquid that another item has been pickled in that makes for a very interesting chimichurri. If you have authentic kosher pickles with the cloudy brine, that is the ideal addition IMHO.

For a chimichurri, it’s very much about tasting and adjusting as you go. Giving exact proportions is pointless, as it will always be different. Ideally it should be quite acidic from the vinegar, quite salty from the salt / brine, spicy from the chilis, with a depth of warm spice (cumin + coriander) and a very subtle oregano flavour. Too much dried oregano can overwhelm it and make it taste like bad pasta sauce.

Once the sauce is to your desired taste and consistency, set aside in the fridge.

Heat your BBQ for 10 minutes on highest setting, ideally 600-700 F, and then put your steaks on and don’t touch them for at least 3 minutes. You want to get a nice sear on the meat, and if you keep flipping them they won’t color properly.

People get freaked out cooking steak, but it’s always better to undercook than overcook. You can always throw the steak back on the grill if it’s not cooked to your liking. All those rules about touching your hand to compare done-ness of a steak – they don’t work. Use your intuition, flip less than you think, and you can always cut into it to check.

Once your meat is done, take it off the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with lots of your chimichurri on top.

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