Flank steak with chimichurri

Bavette steak with chimichurri
Shallot, 1-2
Garlic cloves, crushed, 4
Fresno chile, 1
Sherry or red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup
Coarse sea salt, 1 tsp or to taste
Fresh cilantro, 2 cups
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1 cup
Fresh oregano, 1/4 cup
Extra-virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup
Flank or bavette steak, 1-2 lb (can substitute ribeye or other cut of your choice, or even grilled chicken, suggest Polyface Farm or Teton Waters beef if you happen to be nearby)

Chimichurri butter (optional)
Butter, softened, 1 stick

Steak panino (optional)
Fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced
Arugula dressed with lemon, olive oil and sea salt
Ciabatta, sliced

1. Mix first five ingredients in mini food processor until finely chopped and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Add herbs and olive oil; purée again until finely chopped.
Flank steak with chimichurri
3a. Marinate flank steak before grilling; top with additional fresh chimichurri before serving.
Steak with chimichurri butter
3b. To make chimichurri butter, add softened butter and blend again. Pack into container and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1 tbsp slabs and serve on top of freshly grilled steak (flank or ribeye, seasoned just with salt and pepper), allowing butter to melt into steak. 
Steak panino
3c. Marinate flank steak in chimichurri and grill as in step 3a. Slice thinly.
4. Spread ciabatta with chimichurri.
5. Layer steak, slices of fresh mozzarella and arugula dressed in lemon and olive oil.
6. Toast lightly in panini press (but don't fully press sandwich) and serve. 

The story:
Summer plate: arugula salad; oven-roasted potatoes with shallots,
tomatoes and mushrooms; corn on the cob; sautéed broccolini; and steak
Chimichurri is a bright, herbal sauce from Argentina usually served with grilled meat. It's very simple to make and requires no cooking. There are several variations involving different herbs: this is my favorite. It's similar to the first version I tried, made by an Argentine couple who was also staying with my host family in Cusco in 2004.

I love it with flank steak, or a similar cut called bavette, but it will enhance many types of meat. It also freezes well, particularly in as a chimichurri butter (Steuben's style). The panino version is based on a sandwich called, merrily, Italians in Argentina, from my favorite Denver Italian restaurant, Spuntino.

Un hombre anciano bajo la mirada de Ausangate
Sacsayhuamán, Cusco, Perú, July 2004

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