Saturday, June 2, 2012

Almost winner: Argentine Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Ensalada Rusa

 A major hit at the 2011 South Carolina Campground Cook-off, this recipe from last year's winning team is just too good not to share. Try it on your grill this summer and see if you agree. 

Serves 4

1 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS kosher salt
4 boneless New York strip steaks, 1/1/2 inches thick (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Oak wood chunks

Mix the cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel. Rub the cornstarch/salt mixture on entire surface of steaks. Place the steaks on a wire rack on a baking sheet (that will fit in your cooler). Put steaks in a cold cooler with plenty of ice under baking sheet. Wait at least 30 minutes – until steaks become very firm.

Light enough charcoal to get a good hot fire going over a cooking grate. Add oak wood chunks just before putting steaks on. Season steaks with ground black pepper and add to cooking grate. Cook until steaks just begin to char (2-3 minutes), then flip over. Cook until that side begins to char (2-3 minutes), then flip again. Cook until well charred (2-3 minutes) and flip one more time. Cook until that side is well charred 3-4 minutes and internal temperature measures 120 degrees for medium rare. 

Set steaks aside and cover with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Then slice thinly against the grain and serve with sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce:
¼ cup hot water
2 tspns dried oregano
2 tspns kosher salt
6 garlic cloves
2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 ½ cups loosely packed parsley leaves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ tspn red pepper flakes

Combine the hot water, oregano and salt in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Finely mince the garlic, cilantro and parsley. Combine the oregano mixture with the garlic, cilantro, parsley, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

 Ensalada Rusa:
7 medium potatoes, cooked, cooled, cubed
2 roasted red peppers
1 16-ounce can peas and carrots
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 6-ounce can tuna, drained
4-5 spears asparagus (garnish)
Mayonnaise to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tspn lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste


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