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March 6, 2008 / Tony

Pan Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

I was really pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  It is so unquestionably bold.  What other recipe would use plain old distilled white vinegar (which by the way, is not gentle at all on the palate) as a main player in a sauce?  I really don’t know.  In fact, I was really skeptical about even using the white vinegar.  I thought I might be clever and substitute white wine vinegar or even rice vinegar.  It’s a good thing I didn’t because the aggressiveness of the white vinegar was actually necessary to make the Chimichurri sauce work.  Only a very strong vinegar would be able to be assertive enough to stand up to the other bold flavors in the sauce, namely, the cilantro and serraño chiles.  The end result is a very strongly flavored sauce that pairs really well with beef.  The flavors are aggressive enough to stand up to the bold flavors of the beef while offering a distinct counterpoint.  It’s really quite good and would probably be even better over grilled steak.  [Insert a pining for spring and summer here.]  Here’s the recipe:

Pan Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, from the Bon Appétit Cookbook

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, divided

6 garlic cloves

2 serraño chiles, stemmed, halved

4 large bay leaves, center stem removed

1 T dried oregano

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 cup packed parsley

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1.5 lbs, flank steak

Combine 1/4 cup of the cilantro leaves, garlic, serraños, bay leaves, oregano, and salt in a food processor.  Process until chopped finely.  Add the vinegar, parsley, olive oil, and the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.  Process until herbs are minced.  Taste and adjust any seasonings. 

Heat a large heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Add a bit of olive oil to the pan.  Season both sides of the flank steak with salt and pepper and cook until it reaches your desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. 

Let the meat rest, covered, for 5 minutes and then cut thinly against the grain.  Serve immediately with some of the Chimichurri sauce spooned over the top.  Pass remaining sauce separately. 

I paired it with Roasted Asparagus.  Here’s a picture:

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