Chimichurri, Sauce or Marinade???

My ‘eating healthy’ quest, lately, has had me rethinking how I can still enjoy the foods I love without guilt. I’ve always been a chicken & seafood lover, but occasionally I love a good piece of steak. I admit that when I think of steak my mind conjures up visions of the bad kind. You know the one that has all the moistening fat. The one that weighs a pound and a half. Yup that one.

Well to satisfy my red meat craving I’ve come to realize that a lot of the flavor comes from the marinade. I mean yeah sure a good rib-eye would probably taste good with just salt & pepper, but there’s something to be said about a marinade. A well-flavored marinade goes a long way especially when you are 1. trying to eat healthy and 2. are cooking a very lean piece of meat. I was craving a grilled piece of meat the other night so I began to do my usual research online on how best to season it.

I came across several Chimichurri sauce recipes. This sauce is originally from Argentina and is used as a condiment and a marinade for many meat dishes even in chicken. But the main way I’ve always had it at restaurants is on top of a juicy piece of steak. I opted for a flank steak since I’m trying to keep things healthy. But because flank steak is so lean I knew the marinade for it needed to be super flavorful. I found several recipes online and decided to adapt one based on this one.

In my research boy did I discover various versions. So don’t feel that my version is exactly how you must make yours. I will tell you that the staple ingredients in most recipes were: parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, oregano, and olive oil. I decided to start with a base of all the similarities and then adapted it to my liking.

My first deviation came with this onion. Some said add it, others were prudently against it citing that a proper Argentinian Chimi sauce did not need it. But since I was using my sauce as a marinade too, I wanted to cram in as much flavor as possible.

My next deviation was replacing Oregano with Thyme. None of the markets near me had fresh oregano and I didn’t want to use the dried kind, although I may try that next time. I saw a pack of fresh Thyme and thought it could work, and it did. Thyme is a close cousin to oregano in taste.

I’m a garlic lover, yes, proud to say it out loud. Let’s all say it, We Love Garlic…it tastes good don’t it?! I added much more than the recipe called for. Again, since I was using it as a marinade as well, I thought the raw steak could take the strong flavor of extra garlic.

{Special Tip} The skin on garlic is paper-thin and can be tedious to peel off. A SUPER EASY way to get the skin off is to whack it, yes Whack the heck out of it with the flat side of a chopping knife. This loosens the skin as you can see, and then you can just slip the garlic right out.

Recently I bought my much long coveted hand blender (thank the heavens above, I finally own one). I’ve been using it for all of my chopping since it came with a mini food processor attachment. A kitchen-weeknight-anything has to be quick and easy, so I opted for a few pulses of magic versus chopping away on my board. I chopped everything separately though, so I could measure things out.

After everything was chopped, I combined all of it in a bowl and added vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil. I did several taste-quality-checks…IT’S IMPORTANT TO TASTE your food along the way, no one wants a nasty surprise at the end. {Special Tip} Don’t add the olive oil to the processor to blend with the herbs. You want the sauce to have a chunky consistency. If you blend it with the oil it will liquify the sauce too much.

See, you want chunky, not liquidy. Trust me. It will cling to your meat better.

I jarred some of it for later use and for topping the steak once cooked.
I used the rest of the sauce as a marinade for the flank steak. You can either just season the steak with the marinade or add some other spices like cumin or paprika, it’s to your liking. I just added the marinade and it was good to go.
Recipe adapted from EatingRichly:
Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 Cup of chopped Parsley (I measured a cup AFTER I had chopped it, unlike the original recipe where it’s first loosely packed into a cup then chopped, so I obviously used more)
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped Cilantro (same note as above)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh Thyme leaves
  • 12 Garlic cloves
  • 1 medium yellow Onion
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste

2 responses to “Chimichurri, Sauce or Marinade???

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