Friends! I hope you had the loveliest long weekend, which was extra long for me since I took Friday off, too (huzzah). We did so much nursery-ing and I can’t wait to share some of our projects with you in a little bit. Many of said projects involved using my sewing machine, which is always a scary endeavor, but I feel like I can finally thread the darn thing without looking at my manual. That’s success, right?
We also celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in style by making tapas. Tapas are perhaps my favorite category of food, mostly because it includes patatas bravas. As I learned time and again in Barcelona, you can never ever go wrong with patatas bravas. Tapas also hold a special place in my heart because our wedding luncheon (and subsequent wedding cake/flan smashing in Warren’s face) took place at Jaleo, a delicious small plates restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. Memories.
Obviously, the only thing that makes patatas bravas even more glorious is if you accompany that small plate with another small plate of perfectly crusted sirloin doused in the beauty that is chimichurri sauce.
While I have eaten my weight of this lovely Argentinian sauce at restaurants, I have never made it at home. So when my bestie told me that a certain chimichurri changed her life in all ways for the better, I had to jump on that.
And, boy, am I glad I did.
Chimichurri tastes like summer and ocean breezes and taco shacks. In short, it is perfection. I like to squeeze a little lemon on anything with chimichurri to add another layer of bright goodness. You can marinate your meat (and use whatever meat you like to eat) in this sauce but since I knew the buttery pan-fried steaks would be juicy enough, we skipped that step.
And, guys, I know you will call Red Meat Blasphemy when you read how I pan fry steak these days, but Kenji from Serious Eats knows his stuff. I trust him with my steaks, which is to say: I trust him with my life, and I have never been led astray.
Anyway, if Kenji’s method freaks you out, just cook steaks your favorite way and top with chimichurri. You’ll be just fine, promise.
I’ll share our favorite patatas bravas recipe in a little bit so today let’s just focus on the glory that is meat.
I ate these crostini-style, with a slice of baguette slathered with butter and topped with steak and chimichurri and a spritz of lemon juice. I might never eat steak another way again (bald faced lie, because I love steak in all its iterations)–but, crostini-style is one fine way to consume a steak, if I do say so myself.
Pan Fried Steak With Chimichurri Sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for an extra kick)
- zest from 1/4 lemon
- 4 (4-6 oz.) sirloin steaks, about 3/4-inch thick
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- butter, to put on steak while resting
- lemon wedges for serving
- crusty bread, sliced
- To prepare the chimichurri, combine vinegar, salt, garlic, onion, and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Add chopped cilantro, parsley, oregano, olive oil, red pepper flakes (if you wish), and lemon zest. Let sauce sit and marinate for 10-15 minutes while you cook the steak. To speed things up, you can blend half of the chimichurri ingredients and then stir in the remaining half to give it more texture (or just blend the whole thing–it tastes fab no matter what).
- Sprinkle both sides of steak with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy, non-stick skillet (or cast iron pan). Heat over high heat. When the skillet is smoking hot, put on steaks.
- Flip steaks every 30 seconds for about 4 minutes (this will get you in the ball park of medium/medium-well), until a gorgeous brown crust forms (yes, this goes against everything you ever heard about cooking steaks, but after reading Kenji’s brilliant Serious Eats piece and cooking with this method several times, I am totally converted).
- Remove steaks to a plate, slice a thin pat of butter over each steak and cover plate with foil. Let meat rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with chimichurri sauce, lemon wedges, and sliced crusty bread. And patatas bravas, of course and always (recipe forthcoming).