Ok, here’s the thing about chimichurri: everyone has an opinion, everyone has a preference, everyone thinks they know ‘authentic’ better than the next yanqui, and absolutely eeerrrybody has time for it. The authors over at Asado Argentina set a few things straight about all the fuss and the myths surrounding this magical green (and sometimes not green) sauce, and I applaud them for doing so. I mean shit, nobody can even decide if it’s a gaucho thing, an Italian immigrant thing, or if it’s from the Basque word “tximitxurri”: a mixture of several things in no particular order. I’m banking on a mix of all three.
What follows is how I like my chimichurri: chopped, not blended; parsley, not coriander; boozy, spicy, and onion-and-tomato-free. I’m not going to tell you it’s the best, or the most traditional, or that I should know because I’ve attended my fair share of weekend asados. All I will say is it went down pretty well at a barbeque the other day despite my mistakenly telling a house full of Brazilans that the sauce is from Argentina, circa World Cup finals week.
Also, we discovered that the stuff goes even better with kangaroo than it does with beef… ‘straya mate!
Make a meal of it:
Note: I didn’t write down the quantities of everything, mainly because I was too busy chopping and mixing and taste-testing, but also because you just need to test it yourself till it tastes ‘right’. You basically can’t go wrong, as any combination of the main ingredients is going to end up pretty damn tasty anyway.
2 large bunches parsley, finely chopped.
2 tbsp dried oregano, plus a handful of fresh oregano, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp paprika
3 tsp dried chili flakes
Juice of 3/4 lemon
A few shakes of pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Olive oil and red wine to make it saucy
Start with the parsley, oregano, oil, chili, and garlic to form the base of the sauce, then add the other ingredients to your liking. Personally I think the texture of chimi is part of the appeal, so I won’t blend it, and tomatoes & onions should be saved for the salsa criolla, I think – but each to their own. I really do think the bolognese rule applies here and wine makes all the diference. Make a big batch before a barbeque and freeze individual portions in sandwich bags to jazz up those boring steak and salad weeknights.