Chimichurri Is A Steak's Best Friend

While some purists may think the only thing a great steak needs are searing heat and a sprinkle of salt, many steak lovers have become enamored with the Argentinian sauce, chimichurri. The combination of beef, smoke, garlic, herb, and vinegar flavors make for a mouth-wateringly satisfying steak experience. Whether made fresh or from a bottle of prepared chimichurri, this South American condiment is a must-have for your next steak barbecue.

Authentic Chimichurri

Chimichurri is a tart, garlicky, salty, herby sauce that is traditionally used as a topping for grilled steaks. Originating in Argentina, it has become popular in many other Latin American cuisines, as well as here in the U.S. The essential components include red wine vinegar, olive oil, onion, fresh parsley, and plenty of fresh garlic. The strong garlic and fresh herb flavors combined with the bracing acidity of the vinegar and mellowed by good, fruity, extra virgin olive oil make it an ideal condiment for topping rich, beefy grilled steaks. 

Best Steaks for Chimichurri

People in Argentina love their beef and may even be considered steak aficionados. They consume nearly twice the amount of beef per capita compared with people in North America. Grilled steaks from range-fed cattle are perennial favorites. While grilling is more authentically Argentinian, steaks seared in a smoking hot cast iron skillet are tasty, as well.

Cuts of beef differ from the way beef is cut in the U.S., but there are some similarities when it comes to steaks. Preferred cuts for grilling include bife ancho — prime rib roast, where ribeye steaks are cut from; vacio — better known as flank steak; entraña — the long, thin cut we call skirt steak; and bife angosto — the Argentinian version of New York strip steaks. What these steaks have in common is plenty of marbling and unctuous fat content, which is the perfect foil for the sharp, tangy, and strong flavors of chimichurri.

Cuban Cousin

Chimichurri is also a popular condiment with Cuban food. The acidic, herbaceous sauce is a welcome topping for steaks but is sometimes used as a dipping sauce for bread. In Miami, fresh lime juice adds a bright pop of citrus to the tang of the vinegar, and cilantro — a staple in Cuban cooking — often stands in for some or all of the parsley. 

Tasty Riffs on Chimichurri

While not necessarily authentic, chimichurri lends itself to a number of delicious variations. Adding basil or oregano broadens the herbaceous flavor profile. Substituting shallot or sweet onion mellows the bite and heat of the usual white or yellow onion. Minced carrot or red bell peppers add a hint of vegetal sweetness, while the addition of minced jalapeño or red pepper flakes brings the heat.  Changing up the acid component with lemon juice can brighten the flavor or a milder acid like rice wine vinegar can tone it down. Blending the ingredients instead of manual chopping them produces a smooth, uniform, creamy sauce for steaks.  

To learn more about chimichurri, contact a retail chimichurri sauce supplier in your area like Cordoba Foods- Gaucho Ranch Foods​.