Red chimichurri is an earthy counterpart to green

“Red or green?” The answer isn’t just a choice between New Mexico’s favorite chili sauces.

Chimichurri, the ubiquitous condiment of Argentina, also comes in two contrasting hues. Eminently herbaceous, green chimichurri brightens up all manner of grilled meats.

Earthy red chimichurri goes lighter on the herbal bouquet and broadens its appeal beyond meat to roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, omelets, cooked pasta, even for dunking grilled-cheese sandwiches, according to a recent story by Chicago Tribune writer JeanMarie Brownson.      

This week’s Mail Tribune food section (see the e-edition) features steaks with green chimichurri, making Brownson’s red counterpart a natural post to this blog. It’s also a technique to adopt in the run-up to grilling season, perhaps whetting the appetite with these broiled beef kebabs. I’d make them with chunks of locally raised lamb that my family purchases every spring. Either meat effortlessly translates from the broiler to charcoal or gas grill.

Chimichurri keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator. Poaching the garlic first takes some of the bite out of it.

Tribune News Service photo

Smoky Red Chimichurri Sauce

6 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 large shallots, peeled, very finely chopped and well-rinsed

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped, fresh parsley or cilantro (or a combination)

1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sweet ground red chili, such as New Mexico powder

Scant 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes

Put the garlic into a small microwave-safe dish. Cover with water. Microwave on high, for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain; cool.

Crush garlic in a press or chop finely. In a small bowl, mix garlic with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Makes about 3/4 cup.

Tribune News Service photo

Beef Kebabs With Peppers, Mushrooms and Red Chimichurri

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1/2 teaspoon each: cracked black pepper, ground cumin, salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red chili, such as New Mexico chili or cayenne if you like it hot

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef tenderloin or beef sirloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (24 pieces)

12 whole cremini mushrooms, wiped clean

2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers (or a combination), cored, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Smoky red chimichurri sauce, for serving, see above recipe

For marinade, combine in a small bowl the oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper, cumin, salt and red chili. Stir until salt is dissolved.

For each skewer, alternately thread 4 pieces of the beef, 2 of the mushrooms and 3 pieces of the bell pepper onto each skewer. Put prepared skewers onto a foil-lined baking sheet.

Spoon marinade over kebabs on all sides. Let kebabs stand at room temperature, for 30 minutes. Or refrigerate, covered, for up to several hours until ready to cook.

Position broiler rack 6 inches from heat source. Heat broiler to high. Broil kebabs, 6 inches from heat source, for 3 minutes. Gently flip kebabs; broil until beef is medium-rare, for about 3 minutes more.

Transfer skewers to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve hot with the red chimichurri sauce.

Makes 6 kebabs.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Categories

  • Archives