In light of the tips, tricks and trends I picked up at the International Chefs Showcase of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival (see my full report here), I’ve been inspired to revisit all of my favourite South American recipes gleaned from my annual Taste of South America food tour to Brazil and Argentina. The following is a recipe for Chimichurri Sauce – the ubiquitous ‘national sauce’ of Argentina.

Argentine chimichurri sauce on flank steak

Argentine chimichurri sauce on flank steak

There are generally two types of chimichurri, one uses dried herbs while the other uses fresh; both use oil as the medium. Serve this as a condiment for barbecued meats for a great flavour lift, or use as a marinade for chicken or meat. This ‘fresh herb’ version was inspired by Francis Mallman, who is considered one of the best chefs in Argentina and an international ambassador for Argentine cooking. Chimichurri can be made in a blender instead of whisking by hand for a smoother consistency. Play with the textures – try it in a variety of consistencies for look and flavour. For best results, especially with dry herbs, prepare one day in advance so the flavours blend.

Argentine chimichurri sauce - by hand

Argentine chimichurri sauce – by hand

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 tbsp coarse salt

8 cloves garlic, peeled, minced finely

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped finely

1 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped finely

2 tsp dried red chilli, crushed

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the salt. Stir to dissolve. Remove from heat to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, put the garlic, parsley, oregano and chillies.
  4. Whisk in the red wine vinegar, then the olive oil, then the salt water.
  5. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Makes 2 cups

Argentine chimichurri sauce - blended

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce – blended