Recipes and Me

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another spoonful of chimichurri for my steak please!

This is easily one of my favorite summertime recipes.  I’m constantly thinking of new twists on recipes for the grill because that’s pretty much where I stay in the summer.  Who wants to turn the oven on in the house when it’s 95 degrees outside?!

If you use a good quality steak, the flavor can be immense, and topped with this freshly made chimichurri sauce, this dish is taken to another level.  I learned a chimichurri recipe from a friend years ago and I was blown away by how simple but delicious it was. I’ve tinkered with it over the years and I still do sometimes if I want to try incorporating a different herb or a bit more heat.  Don’t be shy about adding or subtracting something to make it suit your taste.  I love the addition of cilantro but some may leave that out.  I’ve also added red bell pepper before and it was very tasty.  The key thing is to make this sauce fresh.  Store bought varieties, sitting preserved on the shelf, really can't compare.  

This dish is extremely quick to pull together and yet it definitely qualifies as a showpiece if you’re having friends over for a relaxed dinner on the patio.  I love serving this with other rustically grilled vegetables, like an array of whole peppers and potatoes that I toss in garden fresh herbs like chives and parsley after they come off of the grill.  I feel like this meal is the epitome of summer al fresco eating.  Take advantage, summer passes us too quickly!

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
4 servings

2 lbs flank steak (will probably need to buy 2 or 3 pieces)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For Chimichurri:
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
¾ - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat your grill to high heat (about 500 degrees fahrenheit on a gas grill).  Meanwhile prepare the steak. I usually place it in a large glass dish, drizzle the olive oil on both sides and then massage with my hands to make sure all of the steak is lightly coated with the oil.  Then sprinkle it with the salt and pepper.  Grill the steak over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of your steak).  This will give you a nice medium rare and as it rests it will cook through just a little more.  Remove the steak and cover with foil.  Set it aside to rest for 5 minutes. 

While the steak is resting, prepare the chimichurri.  Put the chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt into a food processor (you’ll need more than one of those “mini-prep” processors for this).  Juice ½ of a lemon, minus seeds (!), into the processor.  Pulse the processor a few times to chop the ingredients a bit more and to get them mixed together.  Through the processor’s pour spout, slowly pour in the red wine vinegar as you hold the chop setting on your processor.  Do the same thing with the olive oil until you have a consistency you are happy with, for some people this may be ¾ cup olive oil and for some it may be the thinner consistency preferred, using the entire 1 cup of olive oil. Taste and make any adjustments if necessary (a bit more heat, more salt,etc.).

Cut the steak thinly across the grain of the meat.  Pour the chimichurri sauce over the steak and enjoy!

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