This is not a recipe for grilling steak. I suspect that the grill champion in your house has already mastered meat and fire. Perhaps that person even knows a thing or two about indirect heating or dry smoking or testing for doneness.

This is for those of us who may never master the fire. This is a solution for a not-so perfectly cooked piece of meat.

This is about a perfectly prepared delectable condiment, of Argentine origin, a place where beef consumption is a way of life, double that of Americans, where Pampas eating grass cattle roam free and roam far from industrialization. Although beef from Argentina needs nothing more than a searing flame and granules of salt, chimichurri, the ‘green sauce for grilled meat’ is a condiment that could make shoe leather come alive.

Chimichurri will make up for charred to tar surfaces, tough chews, greyed out medium rares, and dry to the bone bites.

We trust this flavor wash because it comes to us from supreme fire god, Francis Mallmann, renowned Argentine chef and author of Seven Fires, and most recently revered in perhaps television’s finest production about food, Chef’s Table. Although chef concocted, this recipe for chimichurri sauce, is fairly simple with big payoff.

herbs in a basket

Garlic is the prominent flavor, but do not discount the strength of herbs. Oregano and flat leaf parsley provide peppery and bitter flavors which balance well with its salted water base and vinegar acidity. Fresh oregano is far from the light boost that the dried version adds to our Greek salads. Fresh oregano is a maniac. Loud, bold and crazy and can only be a guest at the right party which is this case is a garlic intense sauce slopped onto a charred piece of meat.

big daddy knife

As we approach Father’s Day, I seem to suggest the predictable gender trapping of grilling a big juicy steak for dad charred over an Iron John worthy flame, rather it’s just another excuse to permit red meat indulgence for us all. Besides the next day is Meatless Monday. chimichurri sauce over black beans seems kinda perfect.

chimichurri sauce over grilled meat

The original recipe required an overnight rest for flavors to meld. Ever impatient, each time I’ve prepared the sauce, I did not wait to serve it, which is further testimony to both its failproof nature and longevity in the refrigerator.

preptime: 15 min + time to cool salted water                     makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 2 tsp crushed red- pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine garlic very finely, parsley, oregano, and red-pepper flakes.
  3. Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil.
  4. Whisk in the salted water.
  5. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavors mingle for at least a day, and serve with grilled meats.

recipe adapted from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, by Francis Mallmann and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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