For those of you who haven’t heard of this yet, chimichurri is a sauce that helps you get to grilled meat heaven. Yes, you heard it right. That’s because it also functions as the secret marinade for an absolutely out-of-this world grilled meats.
This healthy and tasty marinade can be traced to the history of the Argentinian cowboys, the gauchos (which I encountered during my last trip to Argentina). Beef is a staple of the Argentine diet and Chimichurri is a perfect match for their delicious grass fed beef. In addition, Chimichurri adds nutrients that the open ranges of the Argentine pastures cannot provide.
After a lot of effort, Gauchos came up with a uniquely flavorful sauce and marinade, Chimichurri, which always calls for parsley. Most recipes also call for garlic to add that zesty zing and chili (for those who like a little heat).
Here’s a Chimichurri recipe for you to try at home:
1/2 Cup Olive Oil (For a more mellow flavor use a neutral flavored oil)
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
1 small bunch flat leaf-parsley; chopped (should equal about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion; finely chopped
4 cloves garlic; finely minced
1/2 of a red bell pepper; seeded and finely diced
1 tomato; peeled, seeded, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Teaspoon bay leaf (laurel); very small flakes
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
hot chili flakes to taste (Aji Molido if you can find it)
Make sure all of the fresh ingredients are well washed and clean before preparing.
Add all of the ingredients except the oil and vinegar into a large bowl and toss well to make sure that the salt is spread evenly around the ingredients. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Next add the vinegar and water. Mix well. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Finally add the oil and mix well. Make sure that the liquids cover the rest of the ingredients. If not add equal parts of oil, water, and vinegar until they are covered at least by a quarter of an inch. Transfer to a non-reactive clean bowl or jar that can be covered. Make sure to cover well. Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend overnight. For better results prepare at least 2 or 3 days ahead of time. If refrigerated, allow sauce to sit at room temperature for at least an hour or until the oil, if congealed, thins out before serving.
Now, for many people in Argentina, they add a third step in the process. They boil the water and salt together before they quickly pour the mixture over the ingredients, and right before the oil is added. This will produce a much more mellow and smoother chimichurri. This is ideal for those short on time or just couldn’t wait for a day or two before serving it.
Go ahead and give the recipe a try.