Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tri tip with chimichurri

I was feeling like a little something fancy on Friday night and decided Argentinian-inspired was the name of the game when I saw a tri tip steak at the butcher. I've had steak with chimichurri in the back of my mind as a possibility for a while now.

I couldn't find a recipe that worked for me, so I took what I know about Argentinian flavours (I know some but not all of the things) and went with it. I made a rub for the meat from garlic, salt, thyme, cumin, pepper, and oregano and my own rendition of chimichurri to top it.

Tri tips are similar to flank steak, lots of flavour and quite lean. The steak I bought was more than we needed for this meal so I cut it in two, reserving the thinner, triangular end for another day and working with the thick end.

Funny story: I (somehow) totally forgot that chimichurri has oil in it and made it oilless. Now, I'm not saying it wouldn't have been better with some extra virgin olive oil (I'm sure it would have) but it was mighty tasty without it, and between the lean tri tip and the oilless chimichurri, this turned out to be pretty healthy.

Tri tip steak with chimichurri
serves 2-3

for three servings
~12 oz tri tip steak (could substitute flank or skirt steak)
2 large garlic cloves
kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper

makes six servings, so there will be extra
Leaves from 1 small bunch parsley (around 2 cups)
1/4 cup fresh oregano (or 2 Tbsp dried oregano)
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch each kosher salt and red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (which I forgot and it was still good)

Place all chimichurri ingredients in a food processor and pulse with a blade attachment until finely chopped, scraping down the sides a few times. Empty into a bowl and set aside to let it sit. (Can be prepared the night before).

Chop the garlic and sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt. With the flat side of a chef's knife (or in a mortar and pestle), grind the salt and garlic to a paste. One at a time add the thyme leaves, cumin seeds, and dried oregano, chopping each one into the paste before adding the next ingredient. Add a few turns of black pepper to the paste, then rub it all over the steak and allow to sit for at least an hour, overnight would probably be better.

Grill (or sear in a cast-iron pan) the steak until medium-rare at most - overcooking this type of steak can make it tough. Allow to rest for five minutes before slicing thinly across the grain

Great served with Mexican-style corn and grilled pineapple (leave out the fish) - especially the grilled pineapple, which is great with chimichurri.

Weight Watchers Points+: Without oil in the chimichurri, a 3oz serving of this meat topped with sauce is 4 Points+. Adding olive oil would be a good way to get your healthy oils for the day in, though, and would add 1 Point+ per serving.