Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: about 8 minutes
Whenever I don’t know what to make during the summer, I make chimichurri. It’s the world’s easiest “barbecue sauce” — meaning that it goes on grilled meat. Not that I have a barbecue in foggy San Francisco, but I can throw a steak in the broiler and in the time it takes to prepare, I can mix up the ingredients for chimichurri. The secret to this addictive stuff is balancing the salt and the acid (I like sherry wine vinegar), so be sure to taste before you serve it and add a little more of whatever is needed.
There are as many recipes for chimichurri as there are letters in the dang word. Some people like oregano in it, some people add lemon juice. Some people go overboard with garlic. I’m kind of a purist, sticking with parsley and cilantro and one clove of garlic, but feel free to experiment. I’m not a purist when it comes to serving, though. While Argentineans use chimichurri on steak, I also put it on grilled lamb chops, pork tenderloins, inside a quesadilla, on scrambled eggs and even (gasp!) on grilled tofu. What I try not to do is eat it with a spoon. But I could. It’s that good.
2 skirt steaks or 2 pounds any steak you like
1 or 2 cloves garlic (depending on your taste for it)
1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves (some stems ok)
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (some stems ok)
1/3 cup sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat. Or preheat a broiler. Sprinkle meat on both sides with salt to taste. Set aside.
To make the chimichurri in a food processor, fit it with the metal blade and drop the garlic through the tube with the motor running to mince the garlic. Scrape down the sides. Add the parsley and cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and add the vinegar, oil, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (If not using a food processor, mince garlic, parsley, and cilantro by hand then place in a bowl and add the other ingredients.) Stir well and set aside.
Grill or broil steak, turning once, until cooked to your liking, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let meat rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. While you are waiting, taste the chimichurri and add more salt or vinegar as needed. Slice steak and spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over each portion; offer remaining sauce at the table.