Not a traditional Argentinian chimichurri… It’s just as fresh and bright, but includes fresh cilantro, sherry vinegar, and generous amounts of garlic and crushed red pepper. Cilantro Chimichurri comes together in a flash, and pairs well with many dishes, but is glorious on beef!
And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
— William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost.
A marriage made in heaven? A perfect pairing… Chimichurri on beef is one such pairing that jumps to the top of the list when I think about perfect pairings. Perhaps you can think of a food pairing that just always seems to “work?” Sharp cheddar and tart apples, bleu cheese and pears, pork and apples, fish and lemon, beef and mushrooms are a few of our favorites that come to mind.
Father’s Day 2015 was not typical at Andersen casa. We are in the throes of relocating chaos – selling, packing, cleaning, and repairing 2 homes, and spending our last couple of Sunday fundays with our local kids. The menu had to be simple, but my sons and I wanted to honor my husband (their father) Mark, encourage him to relax, and of course, feed him excellent food! 🙂
We rarely eat beef which makes it special at our house. Beef is best kept simple in my humble opinion, so in the midst of our chaos, it seemed like a perfect choice. I’ve made chimichurri for years, and always felt Argentinians had captured the perfect complement to beef in this simple, fresh condiment.
I do take a bit of creative license with my Cilantro Chimichurri. Argentinian cuisine is influenced by Italian flavors and ingredients, and chimichurri frequently counts fresh oregano among its ingredients. Being New Mexicans with a penchant for cilantro, I usually use a generous amount of fresh cilantro, rather than oregano. More often than not, I use sherry vinegar (just because I love its smooth, refined flavor), rather than red wine vinegar which is more typical. I am generous with the crushed red pepper (also a manifestation of the New Mexican palate), but adjust to your preference. Of course garlic may be a bit heavy-handed in my recipe too. 😉 As Gaelen (3rd son) oft reminds me, “you can’t have too much garlic, Mom.”
Chimichurri is a perfect pairing with beef, but don’t limit its use to beef. Spoon it over your favorite fish, pork, or poultry, add to salad dressings and potato salad, etc. It really is versatile! The evening we shot photos, I spooned it over thinly sliced grilled flank steak… rare of course. The flank steak needs nothing more than seasoning with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. My husband is the master of the grill, and he brought the grill to extremely high heat (too hot to keep a hand 2 to 3 inches from the grate), and cooked it 2 1/2 minutes per side. As delicious as this looked, my hungry hubby patiently helped photograph the food, and was quite happy to eat it at room temperature… I served the beef with sherry vinegar, garlic, and rosemary roasted new potatoes, and grilled asparagus drizzled with garlic and white truffle infused olive oil. The sun had set after a blazing hot afternoon, and we enjoyed our lukewarm dinner on the patio with a very bold and slightly tannic red wine. Delicious!
Not a traditional Argentinian chimichurri... It's just as fresh and bright, but includes fresh cilantro, sherry vinegar, and generous amounts of garlic and crushed red pepper. It comes together in a flash, and pairs well with many dishes, but is glorious on beef!
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, stems removed*
- 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
- 2 shallots (or 1/2 small red onion), coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic (that's a lot!)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar*
- 1 tsp. salt
- fresh ground pepper
- * See Notes
Add all ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse several times. Scrape sides. Repeat if necessary.
I have been known to use 1 cup parsley and 1 cup cilantro, or even 2 cups cilantro depending on my mood.
Sherry vinegar is my choice because of its refined, smooth flavor, but you can substitute your favorite good quality vinegar (ie. red wine).
Chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but you will lose some of its brilliant color and fresh taste.