With the unexpected arrival of spring like temperatures here in NC as well as well as turning our clocks forward signals it is time to fire up those backyard grills y’all!
I rarely eat beef, but I have to confess that the first thing that it comes to mind is grilling a juicy seared Argentinian churrasco style steak topped with a zesty Chimicurri Verde sauce! This is a vibrant pairing of South America flavors that you can recreate in your very own
Chimichurri’s origins are cloudy, but the ingredients point to influences from Italian immigrants that settled in Argentina in the early 19th century after Argentina’s independence from Spain. These early Italian settlers established large estancias,(estates/ ranches) and began raising grass fed cattle. Argentinian beef gradually earned worldwide notoriety and became a major source of wealth and national pride for the country. Churrasco grilled beef paired with Argentinian Chimicurri verde garnered international popularity for its exceptional flavor when served with grilled cuts of Argentinian beef. Argentinian beef is now exported and is considered to be the best beef in the world.
Here in the US I would recommend using skirt steak which is an Argentinian like cut of beef for grilling. Marinated skirt steak cook relatively quickly with an evenly seared surface and a moist and juicy interior with loads of flavor. A grilled skirt steak napped with Chimicurri Verde sauce is a sensational pairing that is always a big hit when it arrives at the table.
Chimichurri Verde is one of those sauces that will pair well with all sorts of grilled meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables as well, so keep that in mind when grilling this summer!
Argentinian Chimichurri Verde
I should mention that Chimichurri is sauce and not a marinade. A recipe for beef marinade follows below.
Makes about one cup
- 3 plump garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- ½ cup finely chopped Italian (broad leaf) parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 small red chile, seeds removed and finely chopped
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon capers, well drained
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
Using a nonreactive bowl, combine the garlic, shallots, parsley, cilantro, chiles, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss the ingredients together using a silicone spatula, pressing the ingredients together to extract juices which will enhance flavors once the liquid ingredients when they are added.
Add the olive oil, vinegar, and the anchovy paste and stir vigorously until well combined. Then add the capers and lemon or lime juice and fold them into the Chimichurri.
Taste and add salt if needed.
Transfer the chimichurri to a sterilized jar and cover with lid.
Serve the chimichurri at room temperature spooned over grilled meats, poultry, or fish.
It is best to refrigerate Chimichurri for long term storage. Be sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving.
Churasco Beef Marinade:
- 1 ½ pounds skirt steak, cut into several pieces
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup olive or avocado oil
Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, and anchovy paste in a small nonreactive bowl and mash together using a silicone spatula to form a paste.
Stir in the lime and orange juice and mix until well combined.
Using a whisk slowly begin adding the oil in a slow steady stream until the mixture has emulsified.
Marinate the skirt steaks for several hours before grilling. Be sure to return the steaks to room temperature before grilling them.
Preheat the grill until it is very hot.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and shake off excess marinade before placing them on the preheated grill.
Grill for about 1 minute or until the steaks are nicely seared. Then flip the steaks and continue grilling until seared. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the steaks.
The best way to test the meat as you grill is too push the steak with your finger in the thickest area. Ideally the flesh should have some resistance for a medium rare finish. Continue grilling and turning the steaks every minute or so until done to your liking.
Remove the steaks from the grill and set them aside to rest for five minutes before serving. Top the steaks generously with chimichurri verde and serve.