Chimichurri: Funny Name, Serious Sauce

My wife and I went to Argentina a few weeks ago for our honeymoon. They’re known for their beef — Argentines supposedly eat the most beef per capita of any nation in the world (Wikipedia says 122lbs/person/year!), and there’s good reason. One of our favorite parts of the trip was an excursion to an estancia (ranch) where we spent the late afternoon horseback riding and followed up with a traditional Argentinian barbeque, or asado.


The steak was amazing, but what drove me to seconds (ok, thirds…and forths) was the chimichurri sauce they whipped up to go on top of the grilled meat and crusty bread. Tangy, herby and garlicky sauce was the perfect counterpoint to the rich, grass-fed fattiness of the beef. It was a foreign flavor to my American palate, and absolutely addicting.

The sauce itself is dead simple to make — it’s basically just equal parts red wine vinegar, olive oil, cilantro, red onion, and parley with a few cloves of garlic and some red pepper flakes and black pepper thrown in. A spin of the food processor yields a colorful, rich sauce or marinade that complements beef (or chicken, or fish) in a new and interesting way.

I made it tonight with steak tacos. Forgive me the mixed cuisine (or call it fusion) — but it was delicious. The best part is the remaining uncooked steak and cup of chimichurri left over in my refrigerator. The sauce is sure to be even better tomorrow, and I’ve still got plenty of tortillas (corn, of course).

Chimichurri Steak Tacos

Serves 2

Chimichurri Sauce and Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Steak Tacos

  • 1/2 lb flank steak or other thinly cut steak
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 soft corn tortillas



Combine all ingredients for chimichurri in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Coat both sides of steak with some of the sauce and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Set aside the rest of the sauce for an hour or so  in the refrigerator to allow flavors to come together.

Grill steak for about 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked to about medium. Take the steak off of the grill and allow it to rest for 3-5 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Cut steak into strips, and place it on corn tortillas that have been lightly heated on a skillet. Finish tacos with avocado, tomatoes and cheese. Eat greedily.

Originally posted May 15th, 2011


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