Feb 11

Homemade Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce




Chimichurri … yay!! Three cheers for this amazing sauce from Argentina, of which I have never tried until recently. See, my food education continues and I am infinitely grateful for its creation. It’s pesto from the south, but without the nuts and it goes beautifully on grilled meat.



Couple of months ago we were invited to join a couple of friends for dinner at a local steakhouse here in the city. Nora wanted to thank us for looking after her dog while she was away for two weeks. So off we went, to La Brasa steakhouseHaarlemmerdijk 16, 1013 JC Amsterdam. The place, like all other restaurants that find themselves crammed into the narrow buildings of Amsterdam city, is small and can feel somewhat cramped. There is upstairs seating however, for how many, I do not know. Service was pretty ‘meh’ … but the food was good and they came in very generous portions. And when I say generous, I mean the kind that comes to your table and you immediately know you’re not going to be finishing dinner.






I ordered the three hundred gram ribeye, pink, which arrived significantly underdone … but the flavours were spot on. Accompanying this hunk of meat was a saucer of delicious chimichurri sauce. So delicious in fact, that I had to ask for an extra serving. This was my first taste of this stuff and it completely blew my mind. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s like a salsa verde but with extra punch from the garlic and oregano, and I think it is the best thing you can put on your steak. I am not a fan of thick, gloopy sauces that usually accompany steaks ( … maybe just a good Bearnaise sauce), so this one really caught my attention.



Today I am recreating my version of this incredible sauce. From my research I have concluded that chimichurri uses a few key ingredients: parsley, garlic, oregano and a splash of vinegar. However, variations do exist which include the addition of coriander, chives, lemon, tomatoes and red peppers. Now I am merely working from memory here and making assumptions as to what was in the chimichurri I was served at the restaurant based on taste. I know for a fact that mine had roasted peppers in it, so that’s what I will be adding to the recipe.









One good bunch of flat-leaf parsley

One good bunch of coriander

½ bunch chives

2 – 3 pieces roasted red pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot


½ cup good quality olive oil




Place everything into a blender and pulse a few times. I like mine chunky, so after mechanically chopping everything I tip it out and add some extra herbs that I have hand chopped, for texture. Taste for seasoning and add extra oil if you think it’s necessary. Now all you need to do it get some kick-ass beef steaks going … gives you an excuse to use this sauce. If you can get a BBQ going, that would be ideal, me thinks. But it’s in the middle of winter here in Amsterdam, so no such luck. A cast iron skillet is the best I can do.






I got my hands on some beautiful marbled steaks and dried them out a bit in the fridge for a few days. Aged beef is da bomb. Then I sprinkled them with salt and smoked paprika on both sides. That is all the flavourings I need. The heat up the pan on high until it starts to smoke. Swipe some neutral-flavoured oil on the surface using a kitchen towel … a single light layer is plenty, just enough to not allow the meat to stick. The type of meat I am using contains a lot of natural fat in itself already. Plop the steaks in the pan and LEAVE THEM ALONE for five to eight minutes. You are allowed to lower the fire to medium-high tho. Flip the steaks once and cook the other side for another five minutes, then take them off the pan to rest. Slice and serve with the chimichurri sauce.



I served up my lunch with crushed potato cake and some red cabbage and apple slaw. Beautiful, especially if you get the meat spot on and pink in the middle. Be generous with the sauce, spoon it all over the meat. I recommend that you make the sauce a couple of days in advance to allow the flavours to develope and for the garlic to tone down their heat a bit. Otherwise the rawness of the garlic is a little too much in-yer-face.



For the potato cakes I simply par-boiled some baby red potatoes then roasted them in the oven for thirty minutes until the skin crisps up slightly. Along with the potatoes I added two cloves of whole garlic in skins (totallyoptional). Then I crushed them all roughly with a fork with a pat of butter and some salt, then piled it in a pastry ring. Spoon some of that lovely flavoured oil from the chimichurri sauce over the potatoes and you are good to go. This meal is not labour intensive at all and is ideal if you want a quick lunch. The red cabbage and apple slaw I simply bought the store. It added a nice zing to the meal nicely.






So happy cooking and I hope you’ll be satisfied with the results. This recipe turned out reeeaalllly good, even the fussy boyfriend ate some. He was also happy that the plate mainly consisted of things he would eat: meat and potatoes. The cabbage he could afford to ignore. Happy cooking, all.



~ Enjoy! ~




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