Doesn’t that name just scream fun? Even if you don’t know what it is?
I will have to digress for a moment before I actually get to the recipe. I have had occasion over the years in several of my jobs to meet various famous people. And I have come to this conclusion. If you are nice before you become famous, you will be nice after you become famous. And if you’re not, you won’t.
Michelle Bernstein was raised up right because she’s really nice. Michelle is what they’re calling these days a “star chef.” She’s won the James Beard Award and she also beat the stuffing out of Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. I met her last fall at the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, where I am quite certain she was bitterly regretting agreeing to make lunch for 500 extremely knowledgeable and food-obsessed writers, chefs, industry professionals and hangers-on like me. The reason I came to this conclusion is that I watched her direct a team of other chefs in an outdoor assembly line and I will tell you the girl looked like she was about to have a heart attack. At the end of the meal, she just stood there hugging her husband for a very long time and I know her next stop had to have been the nearest bar. The food was fantastic. And in the middle of all that, in the heat of battle, she sweetly agreed to let me take her photo. And at a meet-and-greet later on that day, she was just delightful and Southern people put a pretty high premium on delightful.
I am telling you all of this to say that last fall I did not understand that Michelle Bernstein would change my life with her chimichurri recipe from Cuisine a Latina, her cookbook. I had heard of chimichurri for years, but I’m not the biggest parsley fan on the planet and chimichurri is mostly parsley. But I was so wrong about this sauce. Traditionally, it’s served with grilled meat in Argentina. It’s like their national catsup.
So after a particularly parsley-heavy funeral food marathon, I had some left over. I made the sauce. I grilled a hangar steak. And I tried the meat and sauce together. Something happens when that vibrant garlicky, slightly spicy sauce hits that charred medium rare meat that is unexplainable. It is unbelievably good and ya’ll have just got to try it. It makes me want to be Argentinian, which would also make me a lot more interesting.
Michelle Bernstein’s Chimichurri
Note: Traditional Chimichurri must be made at least an hour before serving.
Put parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, and vinegar into a blender or food processor and process until it becomes a coarse paste. Use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture into a bowl or other container. Stir in olive oil; add salt and pepper. Let sit for at least one hour before serving.