Chimichurri

There are probably as many versions of this as there are neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, but this is probably the most traditional.  This is from my father-in-law who has a pretty good reputation as Argentine asadors go.  Some versions are red and some are even dry but I think that this one – the green one – is the best and most authentic.  I’ve added the dry and red versions here if you are curious and want to mix things up.

Now I’ve seen quite a few recipes for this in the states on various food sites – most of which will get you thrown out of Buenos Aires in a hurry.  This one is the real deal.  Please don’t cheat and make it in a food processor.  It needs to be chunky and rustic.

Chimichurri spooned onto a bit of Chivito during an Asado.

Chimichurri spooned onto a bit of Chivito during an Asado.

Chimichurri (Green)

  • 1 Bunch Parsley – Stemmed, washed and dried
  • 8 cloves garlic – mashed with the side of a knife and minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Yellow Onion – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried Rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 5 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin, Best Quality Olive Oil

Mince the parsley and garlic (first mash the garlic flat with the side of a chefs knife – its easier) together on a cutting board.  Place in a medium sized mixing bowl and add everything but the oil.  Whisk to combine.  Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking all the time.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, red pepper or vinegar as your tastes require.  Put it in a jar and refrigerate or use it immediately.

Serve along side your meats in a small bowl with a spoon or baste the meat with the chimichurri during the barbecue.  I’ve seen it done either way and both ways.  This is also an absolutely awesome dipping sauce for rustic crusty bread.  And… I also take a couple tablespoons of it mixed with mayo for sandwiches that are out of this world.

Chimichurri (Red)

I see this a lot in restaurants and joints.  Its about as common as the green variety.  You can use this just like the green variety although I haven’t seen it used to baste the meat as much as I have the green.  There a several variations on this, but the one that I like best is this one.

Just take the above recipe for your basic green chimichurri and simply add two tablespoons of tomato paste to it.  I’ve seen this done with roasted red peppers and even paprika.  I just happen to like the sweetness that comes from the tomato paste and the way it plays off the brighter forward flavors of the vinegar and garlic.

Chimichurri (Dry)

There are a lot of dry varieties of Chimichurri as well.  They can be bought packaged and the spices can be rehydrated with Olive Oil and Vinegar or used like a spice rub.  I’d suggest using this like a spice rub – especially since the real deal with fresh herbs is so easy to make and the recipe is right above this one…

  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon dehydrated minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon basil
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika (optional – makes for a good color if using this as a spice rub)
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)

Mix together with your fingers and store in an air tight zip-lock or jar.  Double or triple as needed.  You can also pulse this in a spice grinder to make it finer.

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