Chimichurri Sauce & Malbec World Day
Not many people know but April 17th is Malbec World Day. So why am I posting a Chimichurri Sauce Recipe? Well, when people ask me what food Malbec goes best with, my answer is invariably lamb or beef, although it is a pretty versatile wine. Actually I think that you can’t beat Malbec and a good steak. Which is where this Chimichurri Sauce Recipe comes in. It is an iconic Argentinian sauce for beef and, yes, I am aware that Malbec is grown in many other countries, but in recent years Malbec is clearly most identified with Argentina.
So what is Chimichurri Sauce?
Chimichurri Sauce is a herby, green sauce used for grilled meats originating from Argentina. It is not the only herby, green sauce from South America – there is also Llajua from Bolivia, Molho a Campanha from Brazil and a close relative from Mexico, Pico di Gallo – and I suppose their distant cousins would be Salsa Verde and Sauce Verte or Persillade from Italy and France respectively.
Chimichurri Sauce can be considered to be Argentina’s national steak sauce. It is basically chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar – so perhaps it can be considered to be a sort of vinaigrette. Sometimes various additions are made such as cumin, thyme, lemon etc. Some people put some finely chopped onion in too. You can also make a red Chimichurri with the addition of tomato and red pepper. It is not really a very complicated sauce.
Originally it was probably made by the Gauchos, the cowboys of the pampas, who would probably have used dried herbs that they could take with them easily in a saddle bay. The combination of the vinegar, which helps to cut through any fattiness in the steak, and the herbs and garlic, which complement the beefy, meaty flavours have to be tried. And imagine this combination with a full, rich, plummy and spicy Malbec. You have to give it a go! Why not try it for Malbec World Day? You can now even buy bottled Chimichurri Sauce in the UK, although it isn’t as nice an homemade! See all our Argentinian Wines here.
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
I don’t go mad with lots of extra ingredients, but I think the addition of a bit of thyme and some lemon zest just helps to give a little bit more character and the lemon zest lightens it up a bit.
1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced, grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 or 2 teaspoons thyme, finely chopped
Lemon zest, not much, about half a lemon’s worth
250ml Olive oil, I use an inexpensive extra virgin olive oil – you don’t want to use your finest for this, it’ll be swamped by the other ingredients
100ml Red wine vinegar, I use red wine vinegar because I make my own, you can use white wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
If you like a bit of heat add half a teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Combine all the ingredients and seal in an airtight container. Whizz up in a food processer if you like. If it is too think add a bit of water to loosen it a little. I try and make it a couple of days in advance so the flavours combine together more. Once it is made, the Chimichurri Sauce can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for a month or so. Just remember to take it out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature before serving.