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flank steak with chimichurri

One of my favourite things about Porteno, other than great food and rockabilly-styled waitstaff is the chefs’ generosity with recipes. Restaurants shouldn’t be afraid to share their recipes for so many reasons – great restaurants are about more than just good food; just because customers know how to cook something doesn’t mean that they’ll stop going out to restaurants, and of course, it’s great publicity. Porteno’s Brussels sprout recipe is one such dish that has inspired an almost cult-like following.

All Porteno’s mains are served with chimichurri and salsa criolla, recipes they were kind enough to share with Gourmet Traveller’s Fare Exchange. I’ve never been convinced about chimichurri until I tried their version. And since I’ve tried it, I’ve lived in the fear of Gourmet Traveller removing the recipe and me never being able to find it again, so I’ve decided to blog it. Chimichurri is magical stuff and goes so well with grilled meats; trust the Argentinians who know about these things. I’m an advocate of steak without extra stuff on it – not even mustard touches my steak, but this is an exception, oh and Damien Pignolet’s Cafe de Paris butter when I’m feeling extravagant.

If you’ve never used flank steak before, it’s a lesser known cut that’s only come back into vogue over the last few years. Ask a good butcher, alternatively, it’s available at Costco. It’s flavourful and great for grilling as long as you pay attention and don’t overcook it – the only other thing you need to make sure of is to always cut it against the grain.

I recommend halving the chimichurri and salsa recipe unless you want leftovers.

Chargrilled steak with Chimichurri and Salsa Criolla
serves 4 (with leftover chimichurri and salsa)
recipe from Porteno via Gourmet Traveller’s  Fare Exchange

1kg flank or skirt steak

Chimichurri
250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
100 ml white wine vinegar
2 cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes

Salsa Criolla
125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
50 ml white wine vinegar
3 ripe Roma or truss tomatoes, seeds removed, finely diced
2 red capsicum, seeds removed, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 long green chillis, thinly sliced

  1. For salsa criolla, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste, refrigerate until required.
  2. For chimichurri, process ingredients in a food processor until a coarse paste forms, season to taste, refrigerate until required.
  3. Preheat your barbecue, then cook skirt steak, turning once, until cooked to your liking (approx 5 minutes each side for medium). Rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve immediately.
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