Spring came and, along with it, the desire to start preparing delicious barbecues or "asados". For me, a barbecue is synonymous of family and friends. Living in America and being away from home, there is always a common subconsious drive to set up a mouth-watering barbecue. I guess most immigrants share the same feelings: the typical food of our countries somehow transport us back to our affections.
To eat a good barbecue, it is necessary to accompany it with a good sauce. And -of course- the chimuchurri sauce is the star in Argentinean traditional barbecue.
It is the perfect complement to all types of meat, from short ribs, shell steak and skirt steak (some of my favorites) to any other type of meat such as chicken and fish.
This sauce has become so popular in America that is very common to find its different versions in many markets and delis. Yet, I just love the classic version.
Its color, within the range of greens, also provides a great touch to decorate the steak.
I remember vividly when my parents organized barbecues for friends and family during weekends. Of course, this chimichurri sauce was indispensable at the table.
I have the clear image of my mother making delicious salads with infinite ingredients to conform all palates. Of course, my dad made great "asados" and together formed the perfect formula.
The sauce is quite simple to prepare. The key to preparing it is adding lots of love. A phrase I have taken from an excellent cook, whom I adopted as my grandmother. She taught me many things and we cooked together many amazing dishes when I first started in the world of cooking.
And trust me; I'm sure that is true because her hands transformed any recipe into an even richer one.
Here is the classic recipe for chimichurri sauce that I like the most. I bring it to you so you can enjoy it with your favorite meat (and company!)
50 ml water
100 ml red wine vinegar
2 Bay leaves
¾ to 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (ají molido)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
6 to 7 fresh garlic, minced
2 small bunch fresh parsley, minced
1 bunch of fresh oregano, minced
100 g chopped white onion, minced
½ tsp Spanish paprika
Pinch of sugar
250 ml olive oil
1. Boil the water, vinegar, salt, pepper and bay leaf in a stain steel bowl in a deep saucepan until the salt dissolves.
2. Remove from the heat and cool it down
3. Meanwhile, mince the fresh garlic, fresh parsley, oregano and onion
4. Add the minced garlic, parsley, oregano and onion in a bowl.
5. Stir the preparation number 4 and number 1
6. Finally, add red pepper, paprika, sugar and the olive oil
7. Place in airtight container to sterilize container and keep it in the refrigerator
Tip: The flavor of chimichurri will certainly get better a day or two after you prepared it... so plan in advance!