Chimichurri is one of the most delicious and versatile sauces around. It's traditionally served with grilled steak and is an essential part of an Argentinian parrillada, or barbecued mixed grill, but it goes great with chicken and fish, too. It's a must with grilled chorizo sausages. Chimichurri works well as a marinade and also gives a spark of flavor to vegetables.
Some people prefer more garlic, some prefer only parsley, and others even add fresh tomatoes -- experiment to come up with your own signature chimichurri and change the proportions to suit your taste.
- 3 to 6 cloves garlic to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional) or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or to taste
- Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste
- Pulse the garlic and chopped red onion in a food processor just until they are finely chopped.
- Add the parsley, oregano and cilantro, as desired, and pulse briefly, just until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl.
- Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and lime juice and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don't want the herbs to be completely pureed, just finely chopped).
- Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Barbecues, Steaks and Argentina
A parradilla in Argentina is a simple iron grill, and they are ubiquitous in this meat-loving country. The word has also come to mean steakhouses in Argentina, which are also universal.
Asado generally means barbecue, as in backyard barbecue. But it often implies a much grander occasion that goes on until the wee hours of the morning.
Some tips on eating in Argentina -- or in Argentinian style -- courtesy of The Real Argentina.com:
- Fillets, rib-eyes and sirloins are the best cuts in Argentina.
- Argentinians don't believe in skimpy servings of beef. Don't be surprised to see a plate-sized steak.
- Locals like their steak more fully cooked than many Americans -- medium to well-done -- and the parrillas tend in that direction. If you want it more rare, make that clear.
- Chimichurri sauce and salt are all that's necessary if you're cooking steak Argentinian-style at home.
- Chimichurri on chorizo wrapped in bread is a sublime Argentinian treat.