February seems like the perfect time to post a summery grilled steak in a refreshing and herby chimichurri sauce. It reminds me of summer barbeques and Argentinian restaurants in the midst of -20 degree weather and no actual barbeque access. Plus, it’s way cheaper than going out to eat, which lends itself to my ‘save money by cooking more and eating out less’ new years resolution that I make annually. Mood-lifting and penny saving all in one delicious meaty good meal.
It’s actually taken me the better part of year to post this recipe. I’ve been experimenting with the sauce proportions and ingredients but mostly, it’s been about nailing the steak. Nobody, myself included, feels like throwing down their hard-earned cash for a premium cut of steak (in this case striploin) just to mess it up. I’ve done that a few times this year, with rubbery, overdone, underdone, under-seasoned steaks. I mean it was never really a bad steak, just not a perfect steak, or in the words of my husband ‘not bloggable.’ I’ve posted versions of my experiments on Instagram, so I guess they were ‘instagramable’ at best.
About that sauce for a minute. Throw everything into a blender or food processor and blend is the best way to describe this recipe. I’ve made it here with parsley, mint, and dill but I also love cilantro which I often use in this recipe. You can really play around with the proportions of the herbs, this is a pretty forgiving recipe and will still be great drizzled all over your favourite grilled meats. It’s also perfect on grilled vegetables, splashed on a salad, atop your scrambled eggs, etc.
There it is in all its green glory. So simple and so good. Now about those steaks. I used steak striploin here, just over an inch thick with lots of nice marbled fat. Now I know this isn’t my usual heart-healthy recipe, but it’s in the spirit of moderation. It’s best described by my 4-year-old niece like this: ‘French fries are a sometimes food, cucumbers are an all the time food.’
It’s important to take the steaks out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking – this helps bring it to room temperature and means you’re less likely to overcook it. I find rubbing the olive oil evenly over the meat helps give a really great sear and so does the nice sprinkling of salt. The pan has to be really quite hot, almost smoking. I used a large cast-iron pan and I find that it’s heavy base and even cooking surface really lends itself well to creating that gorgeously browned crust.
When I cook the steak, I put a timer on for 5 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes for the other side for medium-rare. I generally don’t like messing around or moving the steaks once they’re in the pan. I’m a ‘just set it and forget it’ type of steak cooker, though I know everyone has their preferred cooking method. Some like to finish it in the oven or flip every minute. I say whatever cooking method works for you, whatever way gets your steak to how you love to enjoy, is the best way to cook it. Once it’s cooked, it’s important to let it rest. Resting lets the juices seal in and prevents it from drying out.
This is a great recipe for entertaining, I like to serve with grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes. It’s also nice with a green leafy salad or piled into a corn tortilla for a taco. The options are really endless. I just have to remind myself that this is a ‘sometimes’ meal and not an ‘all the time’ meal.
Steaks in Chimichurri Sauce
- Blender or food processor
- Large heavy-bottomed pan or skillet, preferably cast iron
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 3/4 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 cup dill
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon each (salt and pepper)
- 2 striploin steaks (about 1 and 1/8" thick)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (plus more for the pan)
- Salt and pepper
- Take steaks out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
- Make chimichurri sauce. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and combined. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Prepare steaks. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each side of each steak and rub into steak so it's fully coated. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and a bit black pepper. Heat pan on medium high heat until almost smoking. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
- Place the steaks on the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Do not move the steak. After 5 minutes, turn the steaks over and cook for 3 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak for medium-rare. Remove steaks from the pan and place on a plate. Loosely tent the steaks with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Place the steaks on a cutting board and slice into half inch slices. Serve immediately with chimichurri sauce.