There are a handful dishes that are absolutely timeless — the standards you’ll come back to time and time again regardless of season or occasion — one such dish is the Argentinian classic chimichurri and steak. That mix of charred steak topped with vinegary sauce is pure sensory satisfaction. At best guesstimate, I’d say I get a craving for chimichurri and steak at least once a month, which works fine because the dish works anytime of year so long as you swap the herbs with the seasons.
Down the street from my place in Hollywood is the butcher shop, Lindy and Grundy. It’s run by a pair of knowledgeable, conscientious ladies who know a lot about butchering. What draws me in is that they care about supporting local, humanely-ran ranches. So, when I got a craving for chimichurri traditionally made with hanger steak — I asked the duo to reserve me some from their next butchering session. Their grass-fed beef comes from a friend of a friend’s ranch, based just 100 miles north in Santa Barbara, known as Rancho San Julian. The ranch is a conscientious eater’s utopia as it’s family-owned and operated and their meat is sustainably and humanely raised — not to mention the beef tastes something fantastic.
But back to the dish at hand. Chimichurri is no mystery to make as it’s more or less an amped up vinaigrette that’s been packed with a ton of herbs and spiked with a good dose of spice, oil, and, of course, vinegar. The dose of herbs gives the dish a hit of brightness to the plate even though it’s satisfying enough to serve as the weather gets colder. The recipe below is pretty classic but I switch the sauce up with the seasons and use mint in place of oregano during spring and all basil when it’s at its peak in the summer.
While some people just sear off the steak and call it a day, I slather it with a spiced rub with an eclectic mix of flavors. The combo of lemony coriander, warm ginger, earthy cinnamon, and spicy pepper in this rub makes it seriously versatile because it has flavors familiar to cuisines across the globe, from South America to the Middle East.
When it comes down to it, the reason this dish is such a classic in my kitchen is that it’s a got a really high flavor-to-time ratio. I mean, it will likely take less time to make that it did for you to read through my meaty diatribe (sorry, couldn’t help the pun).
Spiced-Rubbed Hanger Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
Makes: 4 servings
For the chimichurri:
1 packed cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 packed cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
For the steak:
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, divided
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound beef hanger steak or skirt steak, sliced crosswise into 4 pieces
For the chimichurri:
Finely chop the herbs and combine in a small nonreactive bowl with the remaining ingredients. Taste and season, as desired, with salt. Let sit at least 15 minutes before using. Serve or refrigerate until ready to use. (If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can make up to 2 days ahead.)
For the steak:
Combine salt and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Drizzle the steaks all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil, evenly sprinkle the spice mixture, and rub in thoroughly. Repeat, coating the steaks as evenly as you can. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before cooking.
When ready to cook, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. When oil just begins to smoke, place steaks in pan and cook, undisturbed, until crust has formed and blood just begins to appears on the meat surface, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and repeat on second side until cooked to medium-rare or an internal temperature of 135°F to 140°F, about 6 to 8 minutes total.
Remove the steaks to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, slice against the grain and drizzle with chimichurri.