Ted Allen's Take On Classic Steak With Chimichurri

Steak with chimichurri sauce is a classic Argentine dish where the natural smoky flavors of the beef are beautifully highlighted by the bright, herbaceous flavor of the sauce. Chimichurri is traditionally served with beef in Argentina, but, according to BBC, this classic condiment is also served with many other meat dishes in the country, including grilled chorizo and empanadas.

The sauce is a simple recipe with a base of red wine vinegar and lemon juice that is fortified by the flavors of fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, oregano, and chive. Aromatics — like onion and garlic — round out the flavor profile, and olive oil supports and thickens the sauce. These bright flavors pair perfectly with a rich steak, but what about adding a spicy kick? Traditional chimichurri gets its sharpness from lemon, raw garlic, and maybe a touch of red chili flake. However, chef Ted Allen likes to add a smokey spiciness to his chimichurri recipe, and the ingredient he uses also adds a pleasant texture.

Adding some smokiness

Chef and Food Network personality Ted Allen mixes it up a bit while making his chimichurri sauce by adding some smokey chiles to the mix. According to Esquire, Allen's recipe for steak with chimichurri calls for two grilled jalapeños that have been slightly charred.

A jalapeño's flavor changes slightly when it is grilled, and Esquire notes that grilling and charring gives the chiles a bittersweetness that they don't have when eaten raw. Serious Eats notes that adding jalapeño to Allen's chimichurri recipe adds a bit more body and texture than you'd usually find in most recipes. 

To follow Allen's move, char both jalapeños on the grill or on your stove's burner. Once charred on all sides, place them in a covered bowl to steam for a few minutes in order to loosen skins for peeling, seed and stem them, and pop them into the blender or food processor with the rest of your chimichurri ingredients. As for the steak, while Allen's recipe calls for skirt steak, you can substitute a yummy hanger steak in a pinch. Next time you want to ratchet up the flavor on chimichurri, add a couple jalapeños to your shopping basket.