Chimichurri’s the new ketchup

February 29, 2008

Chimichurri and steakChimichurri is an Argentine basting and dipping sauce that is served with grilled meats; it’s as common in Argentina as ketchup is in North America. Fresh, tangy and utterly terrific tasting, chimichurri is appearing more and more often on steakhouse and fine dining menus here in Canada.

Although there are a couple of bottled chimichurri sauce mixtures on the market, none of them compare to the taste of one made with fresh parsley.

Steak is the number one meat served with Chimichurri sauce in Argentina; my favourite steak to use with chimichurri is a rib steak, which is a well-marbled, flavourful cut that truly appreciates the astringency of this sauce (the picture today is a rib steak with chimichurri sauce from my latest book Dana’s Top Ten Table). That said, this sauce is also terrific brushed over shrimp as they come off the grill or used as a marinade for black cod or monkfish. In summer, I also like to barbecue a chicken over low coals or on the rotisserie and then serve chimichurri as a dipping sauce.

Fresh and Fabulous Chimichurri Sauce:

3 tbsp (45 mL) red-wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
1 small bay leaf
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 rib, T-bone or porterhouse steak, about 2 lb (1 kg)
1 tsp (5 mL) salt

Stir vinegar with water, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and bay leaf until salt is dissolved. Whisk in oil and stir in parsley. Divide in half. Brush the half without the bay leaf evenly over the steak. Let stand for 15 minutes.