Chimichurri – The pesto or ketchup of Argentina! It’s a simple sauce that can be made in minutes to elevate your grilled meats and that will definitely impress your guests.
If you’re wondering where the word for this sauce comes from, here’s a little history lesson. It is thought that the name comes from Basque tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order. The Basque region borders both Spain and France and in the late 19th and early 20th century, many Basques emigrated from Spain or France to go to Argentina. This is because the Basques played a huge role in Spain’s colonization of Argentina as well as its independence. They influenced Argentinian culture extensively and that is why this sauce is considered to be originating from Argentina. Anyways…back to the food.
You can use any grilled meat to accompany Chimichurri. It’s most common with steak and sometimes the meat is cooked in it and sometimes it just dresses it after cooked. The basis of the sauce is simple: parsley, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano, and red wine vinegar. However, there are many variations of it and this recipe below is just one way to make it.
I like a mix of parsley and cilantro so I did a 4:1 ration of the leafs. I then added fresh garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, olive oil, and then substituted the red wine vinegar for a non-alcoholic form. I found that using red grape juice, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice gives you an identical taste of that acidic and sweet taste of red wine vinegar or balsamic glaze.
There is also a red version of this sauce that is made with tomatoes and red bell peppers so if you’d like to see my own version for that, let me know!
Also, for the New York Strip Steak I used, I dry-rubbed it in freshly cracked Himalayan pink salt and peppercorns. I seared it on a skillet with some olive oil over high heat, 2-2:30 minutes on each side. I then reduce the heat to medium and add two tablespoons of butter, along with some fresh garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. I just make sure to tilt the pan and spoon the butter over the steak to repeatedly glaze it. I do that for a minute and then let it rest on a board for 5-10 minutes before cutting and saucing!
If you’ve made Chimichurri before with red vine vinegar or without cilantro, I’d love to hear how this compares to the more traditional version 🙂