Well hello, hello! Sorry for the radio silence but I’ve been gallivanting around the outer reaches of Newfoundland on assignment for Cruise International magazine. I’ve had the most incredible time and can’t wait to tell you all about it, but the first thing I did (after getting massive cuddles from my boys and having a quick kip) was to get straight into my garden and have a look around. It seems like summer has truly arrived while I’ve been away, shivering under raingear, so it was time to whip up some fresh flavour in the shape of delicious steak sandwiches with basil chimichurri sauce!
Chimichurri is a fresh, zingy sauce from Argentina, the home of the awesome steak, which is SO easy and perfect for drizzling over any kind of cooked meats. It’s traditionally made with parsley, but while I was away the basil grew to epic proportions so I thought I’d create a little twist on the original.
I used red onion as I didn’t have any garlic, which gave the usually dazzling green sauce a slightly murky colour. I also prefer the flavour with garlic, so try not to be an idiot like me and forget to buy any.
Here’s what you’ll need (check out those steaks – and because you slice the steak thinly, you can get away with two steaks for four people):
2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh basil
1 big handful of fresh oregano
3 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 tsp salt
Lots of freshly ground pepper
1 large fresh lime, juiced
Rapeseed or other mildly flavoured oil
First, get your griddle (or frying pan) on the heat and get it really hot. Drizzle the steaks with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Stick the steaks on the griddle (or indeed barbecue) and give them two or three minutes each side – this will depend on their thickness, but keep pressing them with a finger – you need a bit of bounce if you want to keep them pink in the middle. When they’re about right (you can always cut into them to make sure, they’re going to be sliced anyway), take them off the heat, cover with foil and allow them to rest while you make the basil chimichurri sauce. Remember, rest AT LEAST as long as it took to cook them.
With a stick blender or food processor, add all the chimichurri ingredients, then add in the lime juice and start to whizz, dribbling the oil in until you get a thick, smooth sauce. Taste and adjust for seasoning, and that’s it, just slice your rested steak and spoon over the delicious, zingy green sauce. My red chilli was really hot (you never quite know with those red chillis do you?), but if you want to have more control over the heat, you can just use a half, or the more traditional dried chilli flakes and just add a pinch or two.
We stuffed our steak into baguettes with salad leaves, red onion, avocado and tomato and another spoonful of the sauce and they were absolutely delicious, so fresh and summery. Don’t throw your leftover sauce away – I’ll be using mine tonight to marinate some chicken breasts before roasting them.