As soon as we crossed the Chilean border into Argentina, we had no idea we were about to embark on a culinary marathon. We consumed more beef in a one month span than we did the previous year combined. From Patagonia, up to Buenos Aires, through Uruguay and finishing in Rio, it seemed the slogan, “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner.” held true.
A good way to experience places is through the food. If you can’t hop on the next flight to Buenos Aires, the next best thing would be to fire up the grill for steak and make Argentina’s national condiment, Chimichurri.
Nearly, all the beef we had in Argentina was served with Chimichurri, which is a bright and very flavorful herb mixture. A fried egg and fries is also a very common with beef here. In Uruguay they have a popular sandwich called Chivitos, which is essentially a huge steak and fried egg between two pieces of bread served with fries. “The Gaucho” is the sandwich we came up with inspired by Argentina and influenced by Uruguay’s Chivitos. You will love it, just don’t eat it everyday for a month, trust us. Oh, and for an authentic experience, eat this at 11:00 pm. Do as the Argentinians do.
The Recipe: Gaucho Chimichurri Steak Sandwich
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (remove thick stems)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (remove thick stems)
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 shallot
- 1 tbs crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- lemon Juice (about two slices worth)
- dash of dried oregano
- approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Wash and cut stems of cilantro and parsley. Pulse cilantro, parsley, garlic, shallot, red pepper, vinegar, lemon, oregano in a food processor until just roughly chopped. Do not make this in a blender, this turns it into a soup, you want texture in chimichurri. Add olive oil slowly as you continue to pulse the mixture. The sauce will emulsify and come together. Salt and pepper to taste once you’ve reached the desired consistency.
Gaucho Steak Sandwich
- steak (we used ribeye)
- dry rub (winged it, not sure the measurements, in order most to least)
- kosher salt
- smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper
- brown sugar
- finely ground coffee
- crusty Italian Bread
- chimichurri Sauce
Let steak reach room temperature. Put a generous amount of dry rub on both sides of the steak. Heat grill as hot as possible. Grill steak about 5 or 6 minutes per side (1 1/2 ” steak) rotate 90 degrees half way through. Rest meat 5-10 minutes. While steaks are resting, butter thick slices of bread and grill until toasted (it’s quick, don’t walk away.) Fry sunny side up eggs. Slice steak, assemble sandwiches, top with egg and chimichurri. Serve with fries and Argentinian Malbec.