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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Chimichurri Sauce and Marinade

This is the last weekend of my "vacation," and since the plan is that there is no plan, and it pretty much rained the whole time, I've stayed put.  There are certain things I was actually looking forward to during this off time which ended up never happening.  One of those things was to get to cook some octopus on my plancha.  That idea gets vetoed every single time I bring it up, but it will get through one day.. and that day will be a total game changer.  This type of thing does not make me upset enough to ruin my meal plan though.  Just a little resentment simmering in the back of my heart until one day I'm just going to bring home an octopus without consulting anybody and cook it and eat it all by myself!
Ah I feel better.
So today as I was forcefully steered away from the fish mongerer, I retaliated by buying a ton of meat and imagining I'd be having guests over.  Eh.. who needs guests when leftovers are no guests, but mega meat night.  Tonight's victims are:
Beef chuck roll (basse-côte)
Horse rump steak (rumsteak)
Lamb leg slices (tranches de gigot)
Chicken drumsticks (pilons)
With all these different animals, I needed something to bring them together while letting their independence shine.  I looked up various spice rubs which were very interesting, but nothing that got my motor running.  Then I figured I'd just go classic flake salt, pepper, some herbes de provence and call it a night.. until I stumbled upon Chimichurri.
I've had this little Argentinian beauty before at an authentic Argentinian restaurant here.  It's refreshing, can be used as a topping sauce or a marinade, and works with any type of meat, egg, fish, or even vegetable.  The Chimichurri would be a perfect liaison for tonight's meal.  I looked at several recipes and they're all basically the same, so I'm pretty sure this is the "authentic" one here.
Yield 1 1/4 cup
1/2 cup packed chopped flat leaf parsely
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small shallot, chopped
3 Tbsp oregano (better to use fresh if you can find it)
2 tsp crushed red pepper
3/4 cup EVOO
Some flake salt and cracked black pepper
1.  Put it all in a food processor and blend until everything is finely minced, but not a full on cream.
Oops, I only have a magic bullet, so mine is creamy, but that's ok with me today.  We'll see how I feel about that tomorrow.
2.  Refigerate for at least 30 minutes before using so the flavors have time to set.

I decided to use this as a marinade for the drumsticks, and more as a side sauce for the red meat.
It was amazing..
So for the grilling, there is nothing as simple as this.
Chicken drumsticks:  Score it and rub the chimichurri in all the crevices.  Let marinate for at least 1 hour.  Cook on medium high heat for at least 30 minutes, turning regularly and basting with lime juice, orange juice, and extra chimichurri.
Lamb leg slices:  Season with fleur de sel, pepper, and a nice rub of thyme.  Cook on high heat for about 2 minutes on each side, basting with orange juice and just a touch of chimichurri.
Beef chuck roll:  Season with fleur de sel and pepper and just a touch of chimichurri.  Cook on high heat for about a minute and a half on each side, brushing a touch of chimichurri during cooking.
Horse rump steak:  Season with fleur de sel, pepper, and a touch of olive oil.  Cook on high for about 2 and a half minutes on each side if they are thick.  Mine were about twice the thickness of the lamb slices.  Make sure to baste with the orange so it doesn't dry out.
When finished cooking, let rest for a few minutes.  This is where the flavor nectar is released.
The best part of this is the leftovers.. omg leftovers are heaven for me!!

You can use the chimichurri as a dipping sauce for meat or vegetables once they make it onto your plate as shown in the plate picture..
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