I’ve been doing a lot of grilling lately (especially bison steak and pork tenderloin), but am trying to avoid getting into rut with the preparation. It’s easy enough to switch out marinades; it helps but I’ve started to play around sauces as well.
I love chimichurri sauce with steak, and thought I’d try to put together a recipe for that. I started with an internet search and quickly found there are a lot of (sometimes contradictory) variations. The stars of a good chimichurri are fresh, green herbs. I thought parsley was a given, but when I searched recipes I saw a lot of other options: parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, oregano among others. Garlic and olive oil seemed to always be included. And some recipes also added citrus juice, vinegar, peppers, and an assortment of other ingredients.
As usual, I decided to play with what I had on-hand: basil, mint, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lemon juice, cider vinegar, and olive oil. As I adjusted the flavors I ran into a problem: it’s been so long since I’ve had a good chimichurri sauce that I really don’t remember what it’s supposed to taste like. Given that limitation, I decided to make it to my liking and then just call it a mixed-herb sauce (which tasted terrific with grilled pork tenderloin and grilled bison).
Place in the bowl of a large food processor (or in a steep-sided mixing bowl that will work with an immersion blender):
- 1.5 cups mint leaves, packed
- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- 1 bunch cilantro – about 2 cups (while the cilantro was bunched I cut off several inches of stems; since I processed the sauce I didn’t worry about picking the leaves from the stems).
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (leave some seeds if you like it spicier)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar (preferably unfiltered)
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Process until fairly smooth. Add salt and adjust vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Because of the lemon juice leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for several days.