Friday, 8 June 2007

Chimichurri - something different

NAME: _Chimichurri

1.5 cups Spanish olive oil
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/2 cup)
1.5 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
(please note alternative to above chopping in method, see below)
Salt to taste
pepper to taste

Method 1
Mix ingredients very well into oil, season with salt and pepper, and use immediately. For this to work you need to really chop ingredients very fine, also see Notes for some tips and hints.

Method 2
I tend to rough chop the ingredients, pour the oil and lime juice in a blender, then add ingredients a bit at a time while whizzing it all up. The flavours are way better, it's easier, and shoot me, I'm lazy...

Marinate meat in this for any time between 2 and 48 hours, the longer you leave it the better it penetrates, then grill fry bake roast the meat as you normally would. Chimichurri is excellent on beef, and not bad on pork lamb or poultry either.

If you're going to marinate for a long time do store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. Also, a plastic bag makes a good marinating container, but don't trust it - still put the whole lot on a deep plate in case the plastic develops a hole, and cover with plastic wrap.

Cut about a kilo of flank steak across the grain into three pieces, place them in a flat dish and pour half of the chimichurri over it. Turn to coat; cover and marinate in the refrigerator. Let the steak come to room temperature before grilling, seasoned with salt and pepper. Grill one side until browned, turn, and grill the other side. About 4 to 5 minutes per side makes a medium rare, adjust times to suit. Let the meat sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing it across the grain again into thinner slices, and serve with a bit more chimichurri as a dip sauce. You can also do this on the BBQ, in which case I'd part boil a few potatoes, cut in half and brush with olive oil and put them on the BBQ at the same time as the steak, by the time the steak is done the potatoes should be too.

Ribs South America
I've also marinated a belt of beef ribs, cut it in half and placed on a roasting tray covered with aluminium foil and baked for an hour followed by basting with a bit more chimichurri and then roasting uncovered until it looks appetisingly browned, and served with white rice and some cooked greens.

Firstly, adding 1/4 cup of water makes the mixture mix and blend more easily, and also allows it to cover the meat better.

Secondly, if you refrigerate the chimichurri for a day it allows the flavours to blend better and infuse into the oil, also the olive oil will set a little and that makes it easier to cover the meat in marinade.

Thirdly, once having marinated the meat you need to control the flavour by the time you let it marinate. Two hours is good, 48 is very strong. If roasting the meet though, it is better to have the marinade on for longer as the browning process will convert a lot of the strong flavours to milder ones.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: No ingredients list because this is just decadent...

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