Every year around early May, I always get this urge to build some sort of garden in my yard, stoop, whatever pots I can find around the house. It’s my attempt to give off the perception that I have a green thumb or that I am moderately responsible. Usually it ends with soil full of weeds, one tomato that is big enough to make ¼ of the normal portion of the tomato and scallion scramble, and a Chinese man sun bathing while swatting at a swarm of mosquitoes and drinking a few beers. I may have just discovered the downfall of my gardening attempt.
Now, beyond the weeds and the single dwarfed tomato, you can always be sure to find a Garden of Eden full of herbs. I’m not sure what I am doing right, but when it comes to herbs, my thumb is as green as the Jolly Green Giant. Yes, I dare to make that comparison. I love growing herbs for multiple reasons: they taste so good, I never use the whole package of fresh herbs from the markets, it’s so rustic and Suzy homemaker.
The one problem with my herb garden is that it overgrows like weeds and tends to be herbs that I like, but aren’t common in Asian cooking. So, more likely than not, I am forced to try to figure out a dish using a large amount of herbs before I feel like I’ve wasted my time and energy. That’s where this chimichurri sauce came around.
I really just grabbed whatever herbs I needed to shave down, added some garlic and oil and voila: awesome sauce! The flavor notes of the sauce meld perfectly. You have the smokiness of the cumin, the citrus of the coriander, the freshness of the parsley, the spice of the garlic, and the flavor complexion of it all mixed together in the vegetable oil that can only be described as happy frolicking on a warm summer day in the country fields.
I’ve used a mortar and pestle, good old cutting board and knife, and a hand cranked food processor to make this sauce. All tools work the same and end with similar results, but I am a sucker for old-fashioned tools so the “mortar and pestle” was my favorite. This, like most of my dishes, sauce is super easy. Just grab a handful of herbs, add some garlic, sprinkle some spices, drizzle some oil and taste to make sure it’s all good. And believe me, it will be all good. If you’re wondering what summer freshness taste like, this is very close.
I like to make a big batch and before I add the spices, I reserve half to serve as a condiment with the steak. It adds a fresh level of flavors. Don’t use strong flavored oil either, the star of the sauce are the herbs not the oil. So say no to the olive oil. I also like to turn the leftovers into a steak sandwich. Actually, I’m going to have that for lunch after I finish writing this.
2 cups of loosely packed green herbs (mix of parsley, oregano, and cilantro), whole
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
4 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs whole coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp cumin, ground
2 lb skirt steak, fat and connective tissue trimmed
grind herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in mortar, cutting board, or food processor.
drizzle oil and make the mixture into a paste
reserve half of the sauce and mix in the coriander and cumin and stir to make the marinade
massage the marinade into the flat iron steak and refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours.
grill on high on one side for 6 to 7 minutes and flip and cook on other side until desired doneness. *I like medium rare so I cook it for an addition 4 to 5 minutes
roast in an oven for 9 to 10 minutes in a 450°f oven if there is no grill available.
Serve with reserved chimichurri sauce