We usually eat a lot of chicken and pork, but I try to also alternate between either fish or red meat once every other week. Chuck steak is usually the most affordable, so I searched recipes once I realized it was on sale.
I found a great recipe here for the chimichurri. (Chimichurri is like a Mexican pesto.) The only thing I did differently was substituted dry oregano instead of fresh. Whenever you use dry herbs, it is more concentrated. So I only used about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon. I also used black pepper instead of white. A tip: It might look runny at first. If you want it thicker, let it sit in the fridge for awhile.
I took out my raw meats cutting board and seasoned the steaks on both sides with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika.
I always get nervous if I have to do any sort of butchering, because I am completely lost when it comes to the correct methodology. The only thing I really know about portioning steak is that you’re supposed to cut “against the grain”, but honestly? I never really know whether I’m doing it right or not.
Whatever the case, these steaks were delicious and tender, so the way I did it must’ve been fine. 🙂
Since it’s been a seemingly perpetual polar vortex around here lately, I couldn’t grill these outdoors, so out came the grill pan again. Remember if you’re using this to keep your hood/oven fan on, a window cracked if possible, and a ceiling fan on standby in case things get smoky.
Grill for maybe 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks. We like them cooked medium rare over here, and this was just about perfect.
If you’re new to cooking steak, here are a few tips:
1. Let the meat come to room temperature before you begin cooking. This way it will cook more evenly.
2. Be sure to start with a sizzling hot pan. You can test it by flicking a bit of water on the pan with your fingers. If it sizzles loudly, it’s ready.
3. Set it and leave it alone. If you keep moving it, poking it, or squishing it down (don’t do that!) it will either take too long to cook or you’ll squeeze all the yummy juices out. Flip only once, unless you’re trying to get grill marks – then you can flip four times total to get the desirable criss-cross pattern. Usually, if it’s sticking to the pan, it means you are trying to flip it too soon (unless of course it’s smoking and steaming… then it’s possible you just didn’t grease your pan properly).
4. You can time your cooking to have an idea of when it’s finished; but I’ve found the best way to tell if it’s finished cooking is by how it FEELS. This takes some practice. Raw, room temperature meat is very squishy and limp. Well done steak (overcooked) will curl out at the edges and be extremely firm to the touch (with tongs or a finger). It will almost look like it’s ballooned out or swollen. For medium rare, it should begin to firm up on the outside edges, top, and bottom. The middle should not be soft, but it should still be springy. (Don’t you love all my official terminology?!)
Once the steak is finished, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. If you skip this step, the juices will run out of the meat and it will be dry. I plated mine, sliced it, and spooned the chimichurri over top.
I’ve been wanting to try quinoa for awhile, and this seemed like the right time. I was able to use OHI to make it more interesting. (Read more about the marathon cooking session I had here.) My eldest, A, had requested creamed spinach, so I made that too. Lastly, I love avocado, especially with beef. I included some on my plate because it cut through the saltiness of the chimichurri when I ate them together.
Use the leftovers for some great Second Meals: steak wraps, steak salad, or a burrito bowl.