Rachel's Table

Churrasco de Rachel

‘Tis the season for fall flavors like pumpkin pie with cinnamon and  butternut squash with nutmeg. But this is not a post about the bounty of fall. Instead, I’m bringing back the cleaner, simpler flavors of summer.

This recipe was inspired by my recent conversation with Barbara Hubbard of Living Bread Ministries and her description of the cuisine in Brazil (see my last post to read more). She said:

“…the Gaúcho (cowboy – nickname of those from Rio Grande do Sul) prides himself on the abundance and variety of foods available to them…In the south of Brazil…the “local dish” is the churrasco {chuh-ras-koh} (although variations of it are enjoyed throughout the country), which consists of large cuts of beef cooked over open fire on a very large skewer.”

Don’t the words large cuts of beef cooked over open fire on a very large skewer inspire you as well?

Since I did not have access to an open fire or have time to build a fire pit and do not own a very large skewer, I decided my charcoal grill would do the trick.

This recipe calls for very few ingredients with the star of the show being every Gaúcho’s favorite: beef. The locally raised skirt steak by itself was a revelation, but paired with a fresh and vibrant chimichurri, it was a true miracle.

Churrasco

Churrasco de Rachel with Chimichurri Sauce

For the steak:

2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of fat and cut in half (so it fits on my tiny charcoal grill)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

For the Chimichurri

1 bunch cilantro, washed and trimmed

1/2 bunch parsley, washed and trimmed

6 cloves garlic

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 generous pinches red pepper flakes

Kosher salt, to your taste

Place the steaks in a baking dish or other large dish and rub them with a generous amount of salt and pepper on all sides. Do the same with the olive oil. Sprinkle the vinegar over the steaks. Marinate the steaks at room temperature for up to 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight (make sure to bring them back to room temperature before putting them on the grill!).

In the meantime, make the chimichurri. In a food processor or blender, add the cilantro, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, and olive oil until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper and add what you like (I added about a teaspoon of kosher salt).

Heat your grill to medium high. (I used a charcoal grill and a chimney starter, dumping the coals in the grill when they just turned white-hot on top.) Grill the steaks to your desired doneness, turning only once. Remove from the grill and let rest five minutes before slicing against the grain.

Drizzle with chimichurri and serve the rest of the sauce on the side. You could make a side dish with this, but I didn’t. Mr. Rache and I ate it with our fingers, making sure to cover it in chimichurri before devouring each bite.

churrasco 3

***

Special thanks to Barbara and Patrick Hubbard for the tasty inspiration. I’m even more inspired by their organization, Living Bread Ministries, which feeds the mind, body and soul of those that desperately need it in southern Brazil.  If you’d like to learn more about Living Bread, click on these links:

LivingBread.org

ShareChristmas.orgWhen your family is struggling to find food, school supplies don’t seem that important. However, without them kids who are already struggling have almost no chance at doing well in school. Our churches have ongoing ministries to address the need for food, and through Share Christmas we are addressing the need for school supplies. Each $15 donation gives a child a school supply and hygiene kit.

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27 comments

  1. Love this. I hate cilantro but love chimichurri.It must be all the vinegar. Mmmm, now I’m craving a grilled steak, and bbq and watermelon. I was just getting used to fall flavors–see what you did?! 🙂

    • I’m sorry, Melissa! Make this and serve it with mashed sweet potatoes – best of both worlds!

      You can definitely make this with all parsley, which I believe is a more classic way to make chimichurri anyway.

  2. Ooooh, Rachel, why are you not my wife, again??? Oops, sorry wife, I didn’t mean to say that out loud! lol.

    One of the local Brazillian all you can eat meatapalooza joints closed before I ever got the chance to try it (thank you having three kids!) so I’m on a bit of a mission to find another one within striking distance soon.

    • This is something you could make for yourself! It’s so easy and involves a grill – isn’t that a manly pursuit that doesn’t include wives?

      There’s a couple Brazilian steakhouses in Philly, which is only 40 minutes from my house. I’m def going to try one soon, especially after how delicious this pseudo-version turned out.

  3. Impressive grilling on that skirt steak! A cut of meat that thin can overcook and dry out easily but yours looks perfect. I do love chimichurri, it’s a very underrated condiment. It’s also a great salad dressing.

    • YES! I meant to include a little note that suggested using leftover chimichurri as salad dressing. I put it on everything for a week after I made it, including salad and tacos. It’s so good! Fresh and easy to make.

      How long do you think it lasts in the fridge?

      • As long as there is a layer of olive oil over the top, it should keep for weeks. The olive oil keeps the air out and keeps the greens from becoming the browns. My sister keeps a bottle of homemade chimichurri dressing on hand at all times. She doubles the garlic though and adds some dill, it really is great on everything.

  4. We have a fire pit, but whenever we’ve used it, people have come by to back sure they didn’t need to call the fire department. Puts a damper on the motivation to use it again. Now it’s more of a “stick pit.”

    It might be worth a visit from the boys in red for this, though. That looks ridiculously good.

  5. Oh, Rachel! Not only did you feature one of my fave beverages in the whole world (Sangria) but now you are killing me with churrasco & chimichurri! When I go visit my mom in Puerto Rico we make sure to hit a little Argentinian restaurant called, Humo. Not only are the churrascos and the chimichurri sauce to KILL for but I end the meal with a Dulce de Leche Crepe. Your recipe looks SICK! 🙂 🙂

    • I’m regretting my life choices now–having never been to a real Brazilian steakhouse to eat authentic churrasco seems like the waste of a life. Especially since my version was so damn good.

      It seems we are food kindred spirits!

  6. Pingback: Cooking with Coffee: Making the Most of Seattle Beans - The Local Dish

  7. Pingback: Authentic Brazilian BBQ Accessories and Supplies. Epicurious - Argentina in 80 Dishes - Churrasco con Chimichurri.

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