Skewered beef steak cooked over a live wood fire is a classic offering of the South American barbecue or asado (also known as a churrasco in Brazil). Traditionally, the meat is cooked seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper—some cooks insist on not seasoning until it comes off the grill—then sliced and served with chimichurri, a potent parsley-vinegar sauce.
Excerpted from How to Grill Everything © 2018 by Mark Bittman.
1. Start the coals or heat a gas grill for hot direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
2. Put the parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar, red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt in a blender or food processor and purée. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer to a small serving bowl. (You can prepare the sauce several hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
3.Pat the meat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
4.Put the steak on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until 5° to 10°F shy of the desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare flank steak, or 2 to 3 minutes per side for skirt steak.
5.Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 to 10 minutes, checking the internal temperature. (Or nick with a small knife and peek inside.) Slice thinly across the grain, transfer to a platter, pour over any accumulated juices, and serve with the chimichurri on the side.
Alternate Preparations :
Steak with Red Chimichurri
This less-famous cousin of green chimichurri adds layers of heat and smoke flavor: Add ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón) along with ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, or more to taste, before puréeing.
Steak with Mixed Herb Chimichurri
Substitute up to 1 cup fresh mint and up to ½ cup fresh oregano for 1½ cups of the parsley. For some brightness, substitute fresh lemon or lime juice for up to half the vinegar.
Steak with Salsa Verde
Green sauce—as in the Italian version—is another way to add contrast to the smokiness of the steak: Substitute Salsa Verde for the chimichurri.
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