Friday, May 13, 2011

Chimichurri Steak

I love chimichurri sauce. It can come in many permutations, and somehow overcomes my intense dislike of parsley due to the blending of other herbs, garlic, and vinegar.
I go just shy of eating it right off the spoon, but that would be denying the full experience which comes when you add beef to chimichurri.
Extra bonus: it takes about 5 minutes to make, tops.

I followed a recipe by Bobby Flay, because even tho his voice grates on my nerves in the extreme, the man makes some pretty good food. (R.I.P. Bolo)
Tho I'm amazed he managed to leave out some sort of pepper or chile, because while they do not belong in chimichurri, I seriously think Mr. Flay has some sort of OCD when it comes to putting chilies in his dishes. (He put them in the Vidalia Relish that was supposed to accompany this dish, so at least he's consistent.)

Ingredients: 1 cup cilantro, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup mint, 4 cloves of garlic (rough chop),  3/4 to 1 cup olive oil, 1/4-1/3 cup red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
As I am sometimes overpowered by raw garlic, I place mine in a bowl with some olive oil and microwave it for about 20 seconds to take some of the bite out of it (as I did not want to dirty a pan just for a couple cloves of garlic) before adding it to the food processor.

Give all the herbs a rough chop, throw them in the food processor, add the garlic and about half the red wine vinegar. You can stream in the olive oil or just add it and set the whole thing whirling, as you prefer.
Season and taste the sauce. Some people (like the Hubs) are very sensitive to vinegar, so if it's strong enough for you, stop there. If you like more kick to your sauce, add the rest of the red wine vinegar in and pulse to combine. 
I may dislike the burn of raw garlic, but I enjoy vinegar!

For the steak I used a super simple flank steak (actually half of one, as that will serve 2 people, if you're going by proper portion sizes...) but I made things interesting with some Danish Viking Smoked Sea Salt instead of just regular kosher salt.
Believe me when I tell you this salt is smokey, but in a delicious way, not a "what's burning?" way.
Your guests may wonder how you got that lovely outdoor grill taste when they know you never left the kitchen.

In a hot pan I seared the steak for about 4 minutes per side (medium-high heat) to get a medium to medium rare steak. Flank steak is a chewier cut, so you don't want to go rare on this one.
Let it rest about 7-8 minutes before slicing it against the grain to serve up, and slather with your homemade chimichurri.

I also made some kick-ass roasted potatoes to go along side, and I'm sure I've posted how to make those on here before. But as they take 45 minutes to an hour to cook, I had started them about half an hour before I started cooking the meat. I made the chimichurri then as well, as that gives the flavors time to meld before serving.
(Note: I did take the steak out of the fridge then, as searing cold meat is a no-no.)

I could seriously eat this meal for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. So you might want to make more steak than you need to ensure leftovers!
The chimichurri sauce should keep in your fridge for a day or two, but after that the freshness of the herbs in the vinegar will start to break down too much. (Pesto lasts longer as it has little acid.)
Try using your leftovers on eggs or in various salad dressings.
Get cookin'!

Note: I will be going briefly silent as I am helping cook/cater a friend's wedding of 130 people next week. I have never cooked in quantities like this, so I may be a bit nutty, but I will try to document what I make to post here later. Fingers crossed I've planned things out properly!


Jennifer said...

How exciting that you're catering! Seems like the logical next step.

RocknRollGourmet said...

Well this isn't so much catering as helping out a friend who is having a very much do-it-yourself wedding. But it's certainly a new experience for me!