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Argentine Flank Steak

By David Bowers
Published: February 1, 2010
Photo by John and Tanya Bäck
Chimichurri can be served over any cut of beef, but a typical preparation is juicy flank steak, cut thinly against the grain and served hot with the pungent green sauce. The trick to good flank is – as with most grilled beef – not to overcook.

Serves 6.

What you Need:

2 ½ pounds flank steak (could be prime, could be choice – your call)
½ cup chimichurri sauce (see below)
Salt and pepper


1.  Put the flank steak in a gallon-size zipper-top bag and pour in ½ cup of the chimichurri, reserving the rest to serve. Marinate for at least one hour, or as long as overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire (gray ash surface with glowing red embers visible) or heat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid down.

3. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels, discarding the marinade. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Lay the flank steak on the grill rack over direct high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Without flipping, turn the meat 90 degrees to achieve criss-crossed grill marks. Grill for another 1-2 minutes, then flip and repeat – turning 90 degrees after 2 minutes for the grill marks. Continue to grill 1 to 2 minutes, until the flank steak is medium-rare (about 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

5. Remove to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes (remember the temperature will rise after you remove it from the grill).

6. With a sharp knife, slice thinly against the grain. Serve with reserved chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

The main herb used is parsley, but there’s always a secondary herb, such as fresh basil or thyme, and fresh bay leaves if your grocery store carries them. Try half parsley, half cilantro for an even sprightlier flavor. As always, discard any sauce used for marinade and serve the reserved sauce with the beef. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup fresh basil or oregano leaves
3 fresh bay leaves (optional)
5 garlic cloves
1 fresh jalapeño, seeds removed
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to a smooth purée.

2. Pour ½ cup of chimichurri into zipper-top bag. Reserve remaining sauce.

Chimichurri Wine Pairings

Chimichurri sauce packs a nice little bite, thanks to the garlic, fresh herbs and jalapeño peppers. When slathered on a juicy, grilled steak, it makes for a fantastic meal. Here are some wines that can hold up to this dynamite dinner.

Malbec: Argentina produces more than 70 percent of the world’s Malbec wines, so this rich, red colored wine is a natural fit for chimichurri, an Argentinian sauce. The juicy, fruity flavors in Malbec accentuate the fresh herbs in chimichurri beautifully. Try a wine from the Mendoza region of Argentina, such as the Doña Paula “Selección de Bodega,” or the Bodega Lurton Reserva 2002, both of which can be purchased for under $20.

Zinfandel: This fruity, peppery varietal also pairs extremely well with the fresh, vibrant punch of chimichurri sauce. Two excellent options under $20 are the 2006 Edmeades Mendocino County Zinfandel and the 2005 Cardinal Zin.

– Andy Bennett
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