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Backyard BBQ Featured Recipe

Featuring: Argentinian-Style Beef with Chimichurri Sauce

Hy-Vee chef & registered dietitian, Jen Heringhausen, RD, LD Marion Hy-Vee and Hy-Vee registered dietitian Linda Ashley, RD, LD Oakland Rd. Hy-Vee



Usage of Fresh Herbs

One of the best parts of summer is the abundance of fresh herbs--often in our own back yards! Since these herbs are so fresh, it doesn't take a lot of work to bring out their best flavor.

In a quick stir-fry or sauce, add fresh herbs after you have sautéed the vegetables and before you add any "finishing" ingredients like wine, broth, or tomato sauce. Sauté the veggies and herbs just until you can smell the aroma of the fresh herbs--about 30 seconds.

Thyme and oregano stand up well over time, gently infusing meats and vegetables with their flavors. Add these toward the beginning of cooking.

Rosemary can get bitter if cooked too long. Add it in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Basil is another kind of herb altogether. It is so delicate that it only needs the barest amount of cooking--if that! Whether for a sauce or a longer cooked dish, add it in the last few seconds of cooking. The residual heat from the dish is enough to bring out the aromas and flavors of the basil, which are lost if basil is cooked too long.



Pesto is likely the most popular sauce to make from fresh basil, but you can actually make pesto with almost any herb: cilantro, mint, parsley, or a mix. 


Chimichurri is another simple but flavor-packed sauce to have on hand during spring and summer — it’s perfect for topping anything grilled (see below). For a more elegant touch, try a gremolata, an herb and citrus relish starring fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Serve it on top of soups, fish, poultry or meats.




What is chimichurri sauce?


As a marinade and dipping sauce that is often served with grilled meat, chimichurri sauce is a popular offering in many Latin and South American countries, with both Argentina and the Dominican Republic claiming to be the country of origin for this tasty sauce. Similar to pesto, it is easy to prepare and is great not only on steak, but also fish, chicken, vegetables or even pasta.


The basic ingredients for chimichurri sauce can be purchased in any local supermarket. Using olive oil as the basic medium, fresh parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar and onion are added to provide a beautiful freshness. Red pepper flakes can also be added for a slight “kick”.


Argentinian Style Beef with Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 6


All you need:

For Beef:

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

6 (4 oz. each)  beef tenderloin steaks, diced into 2” cubes


For chimichurri:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes

1 fresh bay leaf (optional), finely chopped


All you do:

1.      Stir together all ingredients for beef with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Marinate, covered and chilled, 4 hours.

2.      Meanwhile, stir together all chimichurri ingredients with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and let stand at least 2 hours.

3.      Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat. Remove beef from marinade and rub off excess (discard marinade).

4.      Skewer beef, leaving about 1/2 inch between pieces. Oil grill rack, then grill (covered if using a gas grill), turning occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Serve beef with chimichurri sauce.



• If you aren't able to grill outdoors, beef can be cooked in a hot oiled large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over medium-high heat.

• Chimichurri sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Adapted from: Gourmet magazine

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