Tonight we’re going to be “world travelers” at the supper table by heading off to Argentina. Before venturing off, I thought it would be fun to give you a little background on the sauce for our Flat Iron Steaks. Chimichurri Sauce in a condiment sauce from Argentina that is used on grilled meats, much like the way Americans use A-1 Steak sauce except with more versatility. Chimichurri Sauce is not just reserved for steaks or grilled red meats. It can also accompany grilled chicken, pork or even as a side to grilled fish such as Sword Fish Steaks.
Typically Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, oregano, minced garlic, olive oil and white vinegar. In Latin Countries outside Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, the dominant flavor comes from the use of chopped coriander leaves, more commonly known as Cilantro. Although usually served in its green form, like Enchilada Sauce, it does have a red version. This is accomplished with the introduction of tomatoes and red bell peppers to the mix. However; tonight’s rendition of Chimichurri Sauce is green.
The origins of the name for this sauce is unclear, although there are two schools of popular thought. Both are amusing, steeped more in folklore than fact. The first is that the word dates back to the early 1800, when the British were captured after a series of failed invasions to capture the Spanish colonies in and around South America’s la Plala Basin. British prisoners used a mixture of English, aboriginal and Spanish words to form the word che-mi-salsa or chi-mi-curry. Roughly translated, the prisoners were saying “give me condiments” or “give me curry” to have with their food. The word eventually became “Chimichurri”. Another popular tale is that the word hails from the Basque settlers of Argentina, and their term tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order.” Personally, I like the latter theory if for no other reason than the randomness of preparing a sauce “in no particular order”. What fun – a little of this, a little of that, whipped it up and there you go.
The Flat Iron Steak, when grilled to a nice, warm medium rare is tender and filled with flavors. A light sprinkling of Montreal Steak Seasoning only adds to the beautiful, beefy flavor of this wonderful cut of meat.
The Chimichurri Sauce is a Latin Pesto of sorts for all things grilled. The wonderful texture, bright color and blend of flavors is delight for the senses. The cilantro and lemon complement one another beautifully, neither taking center stage while allowing their distinct differences to come bursting through.
While I enjoyed mine as a thinly sliced steak, Hubby and Kiddo wrapped theirs in warm tortillas, with more sauce and a dash of sour cream. Bottom line is that this dish is easy to make and a joy to eat.
Are you ready to start cooking? Then let’s get busy. You’ll want to season the steak, whip up the Chimichurri Sauce and build a nice bed of coals for grilling. Oh how I love nights like this, when Hubby and I spend quality time together preparing a meal. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Ingredients: Flat Iron Steak
1 Flat Iron Steak, about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds
1 Tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
Ingredients – Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves (about 1 cup before chopping)
2 Tablespoons Roasted minced garlic
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons White or Red wine vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
Take the steak out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking, rub with steak rub, and let it come to room temperature.
Wash cilantro leaves and parsley leaves and dry with paper towel or spin dry in salad spinner. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, finely chop the cilantro, parsley, and garlic. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl.
Add lemon juice, wine vinegar, and seasonings. Whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Let sauce stand at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes for flavors to marry. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Build a fire in the charcoal grill, heating grill to medium-high heat. Clean grate and wipe with a little oil to prevent steak from sticking.
Place Flat Iron Steak on the grill at an angle. After about 3-4 minutes, or when nice grill marks start to form, rotate steak 45 degrees using tongs and continue to grill for about 3-4 minutes more on first side.
Flip steak over, again at angle and repeat grilling on second side. Continue to grill until cooked to your liking. Flat Iron Steak should be cooked no more than medium rare, for about 12 minutes, depending upon thickness of the cut.
When steak is done to your liking, remove from grill, tend and let rest for 5 minutes to allow juices to settle. Slice steak thinly across the grain. Serve hot, with Chimichurri sauce drizzled down the center. Serve remaining sauce on the side to add as desired.