We eat a well balanced and varied diet at home. In fact if you flick back through the last 170 posts on Tonight's Menu you will find very little repetition. There are certain meals, risotto, meatballs etc. that we love and cook more frequently. There are certain ingredients, especially chicken, that crop up so often that I'm starting to wonder if we eat too much of them.
Over the last week we have eaten three vegetarian meals, one each of chicken and pork and two varieties of beef mince in tomato sauces. What I realised that I've missed is sinking my teeth into a properly cooked steak. The last time we had some was two months ago and that was in a restaurant, so it doesn't count.
There was a packet of sirloin steak in this month's meat box from Swillington Farm. I took that out of the freezer yesterday to ensure that we would be eating beef tonight. I cooked the steak in a hot pan and finished it in the oven, but what to serve with it? Well, one of the countries that I have drawn for The Olympic Food Challenge is Argentina. I will be cooking steak on that night too. Steak is to Argentina as chorizo is to Spain. The clincher for me for cooking steak to represent Argentina is Chimichurri sauce, a garlic and parsley salsa that is ubiquitous with steak in that part of the world.
I did some research and discovered that everybody has their own version of chimichurri. The base is garlic, parsley, oil and seasoning. After that additions include; vinegar, oregano, chilli, coriander, tomatoes, the list is seemingly endless. To give myself a fighting chance during the Olympic Food Challenge, I decided to make a simple version and make notes so that I could tweak the flavours in a month or so.
For tonight's chimichurri, I blended together; three cloves of garlic, half an onion, a big handful of parsley and two teaspoons of oregano. I then added six tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of smoked hot paprika. To say that it was punchy is a bit of an understatement. It was fantastic, but next time I'll use red onion instead of white, include much more parsley and use a mix of smoked and regular garlic, assuming I still have some smoked garlic in the house.