Chimichurri sauce was my secret weapon for the chili contests at my old company. Many years ago, after several years of mixed results in the contest, I became anxious about one of my entries. I was panicking the night before the contest because I’m super competitive and I didn’t want to come in last (and TBH, I really wanted to win!) So, I turned to chimichurri as an ace up my sleeve. I whipped together a batch and served that as a condiment with my chili.
I can’t remember if I won that year, but I certainly placed in the top 3. And, it became a thing. People loved it. Every year my co-workers asked if I’d brought the chimichurri sauce; I always did. With the sauce, I won the chili contests more often than not. Fact: my prized possession from that job is my first place chili contest trophy!
Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian sauce for grilled meats. I like to say it’s pesto’s zestier, Latin cousin! The acid and fresh herbs in the sauce help lift up the meaty, fatty flavor in steak; it does the same for chili and also helps balance out the earthier flavors from the chili spices.
Chimichurri is an incredibly easy recipe to make and requires only a few ingredients with the base being a handful of fresh herbs. You can absolutely mince all of the ingredients by hand with a knife, but a food processor makes this a 5-minute sauce.
There are endless recipes for chimichurri sauce that use slightly different combinations of ingredients. This is the one that became so popular at my office; and the one that I make to this day.
Video: Chimichurri Sauce 2-Minute Tutorial
- ½ small red onion chopped into large chunks
- 2 scallions chopped into large chunks
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro a packed cup
- ½ cup parsley a packed cup
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes 2 tsp if you like a lot of spice
- salt a bunch of pinches
- Put the onion, scallions, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped fine/minced.
- Add the cilantro and parsley to the food processor. Blend until the herbs are chopped fine.
- Scrape down the bowl of the food processor. Then add the vinegar, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Move to a air tight container. Serve with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and any other way you can think to use it. This will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but I doubt it will last that long!
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