Every country in this world has its own cuisine and flavors, but if there’s one thing that everyone shares when it comes to cooking, it is the grill ! Yes, definitely, barbecue is synonymous with warmth and friendliness! And in Argentina, meat is often served with this ubiquitous sauce called chimichurri.
In Argentina, as in other Latin American countries like Paraguay, they do not say barbecue but asado. Literally, asado means “roast” in Spanish. Beef that is cooked on an asado accompanied by chimichurri sauce is the basis of Argentine cuisine. The essential ingredients of the sauce are garlic, parsley, olive oil and vinegar but especially chili!
Traditionally very hot, there are less “devilish” versions and even a version with sugar. This sauce is used both as a condiment and a marinade that is even delicious with poultry and fish. As a matter of fact, I also tried the sauce on grilled halibut and it was divine!
What is the origin chimichurri?
The most common origin of the word honors its inventor, an Irish soldier named Jimmy McCurry, who in the nineteenth century, was traveling with indigenous troops to fight for the independence of Argentina. However, since the name Jimmy McCurry was difficult to pronounce for indigenous people, this sauce, which they simply called “Jimmy” originally, quickly became chimichurri, their way of pronouncing the name of its inventor.
At home, I served chimichurri with hanger steak. Located in the belly of the animal, it is slightly marbled, tasty, and offers unparalleled softness. Its cut in the direction of the fiber makes it very soft. I also recommend using this cut for crying tiger beef, a traditional Thai recipe.
The chimichurri recipe I chose is a version called red chimichurri that includes tomatoes. To me, it is the best chimichurri recipe!
I will definitely try this again! The sauce and the meat cut! My whole family loved it!
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
- Juice of a lime
- ½ green bell pepper
- 1 green (or red) chili pepper (or red pepper flakes)
- 8 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 tomato
- 3 shallots
- ½ bunch parsley
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 4 leaves tarragon
- 5 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- A pinch of fleur de sel
This sauce should be prepared at least two hours before serving or the night before to let the flavors infuse.
Peel, core the tomato and finely grate.
Wash and dry the herbs, then chop finely.
Wash and dry the peppers, garlic, chili and shallots and chop finely.
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Two pulses should suffice.
Finally, add the olive oil and whisk for a few seconds.
This condiment can be stored up to 15 days in a glass jar in the refrigerator.