Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Beef Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce

Last weekend, I made a bunch of Chimichurri Sauce to go with the meatball skewers we prepared for a church reception. Afterwards, I decided to make an extra batch using leftover ingredients to for a makeshift steak dinner at home.

To those who might not be familiar with chimichurri sauce, it's of South American origin and basically a green sauce made with herbs, garlic, vinegar and oil used as marinate or accompaniment for grilled meat. Similar to pesto, but with more of a tangy kick and exotic complexity, which I thought was perfect for summer barbecue and as an interesting alternative to the good old gravy.

And here's a recipe, along with the beef tenderloin that I cooked sous-vide.

Recipe: Beef Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce (serves 4)

Beef Tenderloin
  • 1 kg prime beef tenderloin
  • 1 sprig fresh or 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • steak spice mix (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup coriander/cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon diced dried red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Ground black pepper to taste
For chimichurri sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until almost smooth.
2. Taste, and add more salt or a few more drops of lemon juice if necessary. 
3. Set aside, cover and let it rest for 2 hours so the flavors can combine and settle. (Or it can be made ahead and chilled - bring it back to room temperature before use)

For beef tenderloin:
1. Defrost beef tenderloin in refrigerator as needed. Then take beef out and let stand in room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
2. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Rub the meat with plenty of salt and pepper (and any spice mix you opted to use).
3. Put the meat inside the plastic bag, put in the rosemary and vacuum packed.
4. Set the water-bath temperature at 57-60C (depends whether you want your beef to be medium-rare or medium - I did mine at 59C so the meat was cooked to pinkish color). Cook the meat inside the water bath for at least 1.5 hours (2 to 2.5 hours is ideal)
5. Take the meat out of the water bath and of the bag. Pat dry again with paper towel and sprinkle more salt on the top and bottom (for making a better crust when seared). Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Wait until some smoke coming out of the skillet, then place the meat in the skillet to brown all sides. Sear each side for 1 minute then transfer the steak to a carving board and let stand for 1 minute before carving to serve.

Just top the beef slices with a generous spoonful of chimichurri sauce, and served with the sides of your choice. (For mine, I just made a simple pineapple and cucumber salsa with a spritz of rum and lemon juice)

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