A classic Chimichurri Steak recipe! Chimichurri is the famous sauce from Argentina that is rapidly gaining popularity all around the world. It is super easy to make and tastes like a better, fresher, zingier version of pesto!
Made with parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil, this takes minutes to make in a food processor and does double duty as a Chimichurri marinade. Fantastic with beef, but also with fish, chicken and pork.
I think of Chimichurri Sauce as South America’s answer to pesto. Except…..dare I say it…better. It’s just as flavourful, but fresher, not as rich because of the slight tang from vinegar and plenty of garlic.
Have you ever tried it? I had known about it for years before I tried it. I read a recipe and was not overly blown away by it, thinking “What’s the big deal? It’s like pesto made with parsley. How good can it be?”
Well! How wrong I can be! The first time I made it, I was amazed. And I also felt a little silly for having dismissed it for so many years.
Because here’s the secret about Chimichurri Sauce. At least, this is what I think the secret is.
By itself, Chimichurri Sauce is nice – but not mind blowing.
However, when you pair it with steak, that is when the magic happens. It is incredible. Seriously SO GOOD. Chimichurri Sauce and Steak is a match made in heaven. Like tomato and basil. Cheese and wine. They are just “meant to be”.
And it was when I took that first bite of steak + Chimichurri Sauce, I got it straight away.
Chimichurri Sauce is ridiculously easy to make. If you have a food processor. Of course, you don’t have to use a food processor, you can do some vigorous parsley chopping!
All I do is plonk the parsley, oregano, garlic and vinegar in the food processor, give it a whirl until it is all finely chopped (not pureed into green sludge). Then stir through olive oil. That’s it!!
If you taste it was soon as you make it, you’ll wonder what on earth I’m raving about. It just tastes of parsley, garlic and vinegar – you can taste all of the ingredients separately. Give it an hour for the flavours to meld – overnight is even better. But as I said above, don’t judge Chimichurri Sauce until you have tried it WITH STEAK!
The other beauty of Chimichurri Sauce – it doubles as a marinade for my Chimichurri Steak. The vinegar in it acts as a tenderiser, the sauce itself infuses flavour into beef and I add a teeny splash of soy sauce to be the brine (because Chimichurri doesn’t have that much salt in it).
Marinating is optional. I promise you, the Chimichurri Sauce itself adds that much juiciness and flavour to a dish that you don’t have to marinate. But if you do have time, it just adds that little bit extra.
While Chimichurri Sauce is wonderfully versatile with most proteins and even vegetables, my favourite is Chimichurri Steak. I just think that the freshness is a fantastic accompaniment with strong beefy flavours. And I really love that it can enhance a great value cut of beef like Skirt Steak to transform it into the type of meal you’d get at a fancy steak house.
Oh! Quick word on Skirt Steak – if you haven’t tried it before, get to your butcher and ask for it, and if they don’t have it, ask why not! Skirt is an “up and coming” cut in Australia (don’t know where all the skirt has been going??). It’s cheaper than steaks and has more flavour. I swear, I am not kidding. It’s less than 1/3 of the cost of steaks at my butcher.
It’s lean (read: healthy!) and fibrous, so the trick to making it tender is to cook it hard and fast, no more than medium rare, and to slice it thinly against the grain (see photo below post) to ensure that every bite is gorgeously tender. Marinating also helps- but it’s not necessary.
I do hope you consider trying this! I have a real soft spot for both Chimichurri Sauce and Skirt Steak. I feel like they are both undiscovered gems! – Nagi x
- 1 cup parsley leaves, tightly packed
- 1 tbsp oregano leaves, tightly packed (still lovely without)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 0 - 2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional - adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar (Note 1)
- ½ tsp salt (3/4 tsp kosher salt / sea salt flakes)
- Black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- 500g / 1 lb skirt steak, at room temperature (Note 4)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional) (Note 2)
- Salt and pepper
- Place parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Whizz until finely chopped, but not pureed - see photo in post.
- Transfer into a small bowl. Add salt, pepper and olive oil, stir to combine. Set aside for 1 hour before use, overnight is even better. If using as a Marinade, it can be used immediately.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days (Note 3). Makes ¾ cup.
- Optional marinating: Transfer ¼ cup of Chimichurri Sauce bowl with the steak and soy sauce.
- Heat BBQ or heavy based skillet over high heat until smoking.
- Remove skirt from marinade and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper (don't scrap marinade off, it forms a lovely crust!)
- Add skirt steak and cook for 2 minutes on each side (Note 4) for rare or until cooked to your taste.
- Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 7 - 10 minutes.
- Cut thin slices against the grain (see photo below) and serve with remaining Chimichurri Sauce on the side.
2. There is not that much salt in the Chimichurri Sauce, so if you plan to use it as a marinade, add soy sauce to act as the brine which will infuse moisture into the beef. I promise you cannot taste soy sauce at all!
3. Because Chimichurri sauce has raw garlic in it, it must be consumed within 3 days.
4. You can make this with any cut of steak. I chose skirt steak which is a fabulously underrated cut of steak. It has more flavour than most cuts of beef and is very good value, less than ⅓ the cost of steaks at my butcher. It's lean and fibrous so the trick with cooking skirt steak is to a) not cook it past medium rare b) slice it thinly against the grain. To do this, place the cooked steak in front of you and you'll see the fibres running in one direction. Cut directly through this fibres. This ensures every slice is beautiful tender. Marinating also helps but is not critical!
The cook time is for a 500g/1 lb skirt steak that was 1.75cm / ¾" at the thickest part, for rare (my favourite way).
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings, ¼ cup is used for marinade and the balance of the sauce is all consumed.
For all proteins, including chicken (especially breast), the best way to cut slices is “across the grain” to ensure every piece is as tender as it can be. It isn’t always easy to see the direction of the fibres but it is very clear in skirt steak!
Save this Chimichurri Steak to your “BBQ” Pinterest Board!
And let’s be friends on Pinterest so you can see all the delicious recipes I’m pinning!
Chimichurri Steak nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings, that 1/4 cup of the Chimichurri Sauce is used for the marinade and the balance of the sauce is all consumed.
Life of Dozer – What torture this must be for Dozer….to be so close and yet so far, from this big juicy Chimichurri Steak….. No garlic loaded beef for Dozer! Garlic is bad for dogs!