I have been wanting to try making chimichurri for the longest time but haven’t gotten around to doing it. I decided to try it on this particular day and man, I’ve been missing out! I looked up a chimichurri recipe online and found one pretty simple. I think this was the recipe I used, I don’t remember if its the exact one but it seems pretty close http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dan-smith-and-steve-mcdonagh/chimichurri-recipe/index.html. I usually look at recipes and determine what I have/do not have and change accordingly. I normally don’t follow exact measurements unless its something like this where I have never tried before and want to get the ratios correct.
The recipe calls for capers but I didn’t have capers so I decided to not use it. I also added a lot more garlic than the recipe said to, you can obviously use less; I just happen to really like garlic. So here is some parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. The recipe also calls for red pepper flakes, I didn’t end up putting it on this plate because it would be hard to pick up and put them in the food processor afterwards. And since I didn’t put it on the plate, I completely forgot to put it in at the end too, whoops! I think red pepper flakes would have been nice, I like spicy so anything to add some spice/kick, I’ll think is good.
Once you have everything, just throw them all in a food processor or blender and blitz it up. It should come out pretty green like this. I chose to season with salt and pepper now, so I can add according to taste. If you aren’t too comfortable seasoning by taste, you can follow the directed amounts of salt and pepper (1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper) from the recipe.
I chose to use a flank steak. You should be able to use any cut of steak you want. I just think with flank, there isn’t as much fat/isn’t as tender as some other cuts therefore it could use the chimichurri. Normally with a really good quality/marbled steak I like to enjoy with just salt and pepper and really let the meat shine; in this case, the chimichurri is the star and the steak is the vehicle that delivers the sauce; hope that makes sense :S. I poured about half the mixture into a bag with the flank steak and let marinade for about an hour; you can marinate it for longer if you want, flavors will be better over time as they mesh and become best friends.
I cooked the steak indoors on a skillet. I wouldn’t normally cook steak in the house but Canadian winters don’t really allow cooking outside on the grill :P. I will probably be doing this on the grill outside when it gets warmer. Again, this is a flank steak, so the fat content is lower than other cuts of steak so medium rare is very important otherwise it might become tough and no one wants a tough steak, right? Make sure the heat is on high, cook the steak for 3 minutes on each side.
A little note on cooking the steak to a beautiful medium rare.
Season the steak with salt and pepper and put that side down on the heat first. While the first side is cooking, season the side that is facing up – do not poke or move steak around, some people get impatient and feel the need to move the food around, just leave it and let the heat do its job. Flip steak after 3-4 minutes and again let cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side. You should only flip a steak once, I’ve seen too many people constantly flipping steaks being scared they will burn or they just think flipping makes it seem like you are doing something; again, just leave it alone. Unless you are cooking steak on a grill and trying to get nice grill marks or if the fire flames up a little too much – don’t touch the steaks! (also if aliens attack, you have my permission move your steak to a safe spot before you run).
When done, the steak should have a beautiful char/crust on the outside while the inside is nice and juicy. To avoid losing all the juice, cover the steak with some tin foil and let rest for around 5 minutes. This way the juice doesn’t run all over your cutting board when you slice it.
With a knife, slice steak into strips (against the grain, much easier on flank steaks since the grains are very visible). Ex. if the grains are going north to south, you should cut east to west instead of north to south. This also makes the meat more tender.
With a spoon, spoon some of the remaining chimichurri sauce (from the bowl, not from the marinade) and just pour over steak slices. I served the steak with a spinach potato hash, and beautiful grape tomatoes. I found eating the steak with the tomatoes was really good because the tomatoes provided a little sweetness to counteract the sour/acidity of the sauce. I might end up adding a little sugar or honey next time for the added sweetness because I really enjoyed how the sweet balances it out. Enjoy!
If you have any questions feel free to ask me ex. how I made the spinach hash, how to cook the steak etc.
I had a lot of chimichurri sauce leftover, I ended up using it to marinate some tilapia fillets to make fish sandwiches, I might do a short post showing that.
Ingredients (According to recipe): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dan-smith-and-steve-mcdonagh/chimichurri-recipe/index.html
1 flank steak (my choice of meat)
1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, leaves finely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, finely chopped (I didn’t use capers)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used around 5-6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I forgot to use red pepper flakes, but it would be a nice touch)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Blitz parsley, cilantro, capers (if you’re using), garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper in a food processor.
2. Pour half of the sauce in a bag. Add steak in bag and let marinate for 1 hour or longer depending on how much time you have.
3. Remove steak from marinade, season with salt and pepper and cook in skillet/grill on high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare
4. Let steak rest for about 5 minutes. Slice steak in strips and pour some chiumichurri sauce over steaks.
Serve with your choice of sides, I chose to serve with a spinach potato hash and grape tomatoes.