Chimichurri is the nectar of the garlic gods. Traditionally loaded with parsley and olive oil and garlic, I usually find myself dipping anything I can get my hands on into this Argentinian masterpiece. Nick and I love it so much, we served it at our wedding. I’ve had it more on the vinegar-y side (not my fave) and more heavy on the parsley side–but garlic is always there. You basically have to make everyone in your party eat it if they’re within 2 feet of your breath. This time around, I wanted to try to create a version that wouldn’t clear a small village out with the garlic stench, while also reducing the fat content. Parsley can be surprisingly strong and the olive oil adds a sort of mellowness to it. So I decided to go heavy on cilantro this time with less emphasis on parsley and less need for oil. And while I kept garlic in there, I left it to one clove. Once all of my modifications swirled around in the mini-chopper/food processor, I found this chimichurri to be more delicate and mild to taste–but still brought anything that was dipped into it to new levels. For this meal, I decided to serve the chimichurri with a perfectly medium-rare flat iron steak. And the steak was no slouch… just simply coated in a generous layer of salt and pepper and seared for a quick 5 minutes on each side and then allowing to rest another 5 minutes, the slices of meat were gorgeous and mouth-watering. The smell of the meat had our kittens, Sadie and Miles in a steak-daze.
The juices from the steak mixed with the chimichurri were pure bliss. After the last bite and the dishes were done, and little pieces of leftover steak found their way into the kitty food bowls, I did the good-ole blow into my hand trick for a breath check and smiled at myself in the mirror knowing that I nailed the balance of the sauce without overdoing the garlic. But alas I was still foiled, because when looking at myself, I saw bits of herbs all over my teeth. I guess 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.
Flat Iron Steaks with Mexican Chimichurri
1 bunch of cilantro
1/2 bunch of Italian parsley
3 tbsp. oilve oil
1 tbsp. cold water
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pinch red chili flakes
2 pounds flat iron steaks
salt & pepper
1. Cut off thick stems from the cilantro and parsley and discard. Roughly chop the herbs and place in a food processor. Add the garlic. Puree until fully incorporated. Add the olive oil, water, salt, and chili flakes and puree again until a consistent sauce forms. Pour into a bowl and chill until ready to use. (Note: if using immediately, there’s no need to chill it. If you do prepare the chimichurri in advance, you’ll want to let it come to room temperature before serving.)
2. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place them on a hot grill or frying pan (you could even broil in the oven if you wish) and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the steaks over and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the steaks from the heat and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute. This will produce a perfect medium-rare. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve topped with the Chimichurri.