Chicagoans, including our Chicago editor, Heather Sperling, are hooked on La Sirena Clandestina chef John Manion's chimichurri. Manion, who spent his childhood in Brazil, spikes his version of this herby South American sauce with cracked black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, a bay leaf and a hearty dose of garlic. At La Sirena Clandestina, Manion serves the sauce according to tradition, over a quickly seared hanger steak. But the zippy sauce is so versatile, it can liven up almost anything--from grilled fish to pan-roasted lamb chops--or serve as a spread for a hearty piece of bread.
Grilled Hanger Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Recipe adapted from John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina, Chicago
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus optional overnight chilling and 40 minutes resting)
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (plus optional overnight chilling)
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from about 3 bunches), very finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 small dried bay leaf
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 1½-pound hanger steak
2 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
1. In a medium-size airtight container, stir together the parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, 2 teaspoons of the salt, the black pepper, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Stir in the olive oil, cover and refrigerate the chimichurri sauce overnight.
2. Set the hanger steak on a cutting board and season both sides with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Let the steak sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. While the steak rests, remove the chimichurri from the refrigerator and let it sit out at room temperature.
3. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes (or heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat). Use tongs and a folded paper towel to lightly coat the pan with the grapeseed oil (or to grease the grill grates), then place the steak in the pan (or on the grill) and cook, without moving, until the steak is deeply browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the steak over and grill the other side until browned, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest 10 minutes before slicing crosswise and against the grain. Serve smothered with the chimichurri sauce.