Argentine Asado and Chimichurri
September 25, 2013
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Due to its vastly differing cultural regions, traditional food spans a broad range throughout Argentina. Italian influences bring pasta and gelato, Welsh communities bring teahouses and scones, Spanish influences bring empanadas. But one traditional style of food is represented countrywide: the Asado, or barbecued meat. Beef is the most common meat to hit the barbeque, due to the vast range of cattle ranges in Argentina. High-quality, grass-fed beef provides protein, iron, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and if cooked in a thoughtful way, holds a place in a healthy, balanced diet. While grilling steak is the most popular method in Argentina, using your oven to broil the steak on each side gives a similar crust to the meat, without all the harmful carcinogens produced on the grill. Chimichurri sauce delivers a big punch of tangy, zesty flavor, with very little fat. Green herbs and garlic offer brightness, and vinegar helps cut through the richness of the steak. Serve this traditional steak and chimichurri sauce along with some roasted vegetables, and you’ll have a traditional Argentine meal that’s also healthy and balanced.

Ingredients for the Steak:

  • 2-3 pound skirt or sirloin steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • A generous sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper (about 1/2 tablespoon of each)

Ingredients for the Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley (thick stems removed), minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chimichurri sauce, stirring until well combined.
  2. Heat your oven’s broiler to high, and place one rack near the top burner, and another in the middle of the oven. Put a baking sheet on the middle rack to catch the fat from the steak. Combine the olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper, and rub it generously over the steak.
  3. Place the steak directly on the oven rack, and cook on one side for 5 minutes. Flip the steak and cook for another 5 minutes. Flip the steak again and cook for 2 minutes for rare steak, or 3 minutes for medium rare. Flip the steak a final time and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the steak and allow to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
  4. When ready to serve, slice the steak diagonally against the grain, and serve with the chimichurri sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

To round out the meal, broil some sliced seasonal vegetables tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender, and serve with the steak and chimichurri.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: