I would like to send out prayers, thoughts, and good vibes to everyone out here on the West coast that’s being affected by all of these terrible wildfires. We’re not exactly close to where the actual fires are occurring, but the smoke has been traveling down to where we are, and the air quality has suffered terribly from it.
It’s a terrible situation–one that I hope will pass soon, and that the rebuilding efforts for all of those affected can proceed as best as they can.
How do you guys like to eat your steak?
I’ll go first, and be honest: my go to is a medium tri-tip with A1 on the side. Even if the steak is fantastic enough to eat completely on its own, I still like that primo steak sauce. I’ve only had one steak, ever (at an Emeril Lagasse restaurant) where the steak was delicious enough to where I turned down the A1 completely. Y’all can judge me if you want, but that’s just the way I like it.
I mention my general steak preferences because with this recipe, I kinda stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried something that I had never even eaten before, let alone cooked for myself. I braise beef all the time, but chimmichurri was uncharted territory. I knew that it was green and that it was eaten with food like tacos. But I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like, or if I would even like it myself.
Having now made it, I can now report back to all of you that I now know several things about making & eating chimmichurri, namely that I DO like it, very much. I’ve seen several variations with various herbs used here and there, but I decided to keep things simple for my first time. I use a base of fresh basil and oregano–two herbs that I think play really well against each other. I also put in a very generous amount of garlic, because I love it and because I can. But what REALLY brings all the flavors of the chimmichurri together is the balsamic vinegar that gets added at the very end–the acidity cuts through the sharpness of that garlic and makes the freshness of the herbs that much more fresher.
I kept the seasoning on the braised beef really traditional, on purpose. I’m glad that I did that. It’s a perfectly delicious pot of meat all on its own by the time it’s done, but once you add the basil chimmichurri to the savory beef, the beef moves away from being something you’d typically associate with stick to your ribs food for the autumn, and kinda reminded me of something I’d like to eat in the summertime on a porch deck. So I guess it’s kind of a best of both worlds thing.
Braised Beef & Basil Chimichurri
- 4-5 lbs of beef sirloin, (you can also use top blade steak, chuck roast or tri tip that you cut into large chunks)
- A few dashes of low sodium soy sauce
- 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
- 2 heaping tablespoons of your favorite steak seasoning; I used The Gourmet Collection’s Pepper Steak Spice Blend. You can find it at TJ Maxx/HomeGoods)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark, doesn’t matter)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup oil (olive, vegetable or canola will all work), plus more for searing
- 1 large onion
- 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth (the meat is going to release more liquid in the oven, this is just to make sure it’s submerged enough to braise)
- 1 bay leaf
- Onion powder, Garlic Powder
For Chimichurri Sauce
- 8 oz fresh basil, chopped
- 4 oz fresh oregano, chopped
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup (olive, vegetable or canola will all work)
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic, mustard, brown sugar, pepper, oregano leaves, smoked paprika and oil. Stir together until it forms a paste. Set aside
Rub the meat with the steak seasoning on both sides, then place it inside 2 resealable gallon size bags. Evenly divide and pour the seasoning paste over the meat. Reseal the bags, then turn/toss the bags around, massaging the paste into the meat so that it’s evenly seasoned. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, bring it to a high heat, just before it smokes. Sear the meat on both sides until browned (in batches if need be), then remove to a plate.
Saute the onions in the leftover drippings for about 5 minutes until they’re softened/translucent. Add the bay leaf and chicken broth and stir, allowing it to come up to a simmer. Taste and adjust for seasoning (I added plenty of onion powder, garlic powder and pepper).
Place the meat back in the pot, (or you can remove it to a 13 x 9 baking dish) cover tightly with either a lid or foil, then place in the oven. Allow to braise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is tender and can be pulled easily with a fork.
Meanwhile, make the chimichurri sauce: place the basil, oregano and garlic together in a food processor or a blender. Pulse a few times, then blend on high until they’re finely minced/combined. Remove to a medium bowl, then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking together with a whisk or fork. Add salt & pepper, then 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. Taste it and if desired, add the second tablespoon. Serve on top of the braised beef.