In the second part of my blog post on cooking with greens we shall explore a classic recipe from South America, grilled lamb tenderloin with chimichurri sauce. The classic Argentine recipe uses beef, however since in my two part series I was working with lamb I have gone with lamb here, you can do it with beef or chicken works equally well.
In the previous post we used the leg meat slowly braised in greens, this is a much faster recipe and it’s the freshness of the herbs in the chimichurri sauce that really brings out the flavor in the lamb. Tenderloin is a much softer cut of meat though its rather low in fat especially in lamb, hence care must be taken to cook it quickly . The ideal temperature would be medium or medium rare. Before we move onto the recipe a bit of origins trivia for you!
Food historians have accredited the sauce to Argentinian cowboys also known as gauchos. However, they speculate that the origins of the sauce may lie in the British isles ! Named after a man called Jimmy Mc Curry who apparently joined General Ospina’s forces fighting for the Argentine independence in the 19th’s century. Alternatively, and less romantically he may simply have been an Irishman involved in the meat trade and introduced a version of the mint sauce used in United Kingdom which came to be known as “Jimmy’s Curry” , hence “chimichurri” in the local language. Could be a far fetched tale, debatable like most food origin stories nonetheless makes for an interesting dinner conversation!
However , it should be noted Chimichurri isn’t the Argentine version of pesto, even though they do look similar they are world’s apart in terms of flavor! It is best used as a condiment for steaks , burgers, hotdogs or anything grilled. Enjoy the recipe and do let me know your thoughts in the comments!
- 500 gm Lamb Tenderloin
- 1/2 Cup Parsley
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
- 1/4 cup mint
- 8 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar ( you can also use white wine or red wine vinegar)
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt,pepper and paprika for seasoning
- In a glass bowl add the herbs, garlic, shallots, seasonings and the vinegar. Now whisk using a fork while slowly adding the olive oil in a stream.Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Season the lamb with salt, pepper and paprika, add olive oil and mix it thoroughly. Set aside for an hour.
- Heat the grill and cook each side for 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut of meat. Check the meat temperature, flip and cook further 3 minutes. Take it off the grill and let it rest.
- Now slice across the grain and plate it. Drizzle the chimichurri over it as shown in the picture and serve.
- Mop up any remaining chimichurri with bread or use it later!