One of my favourite accompaniments with roast beef is a silky béarnaise sauce, but for the sake of keeping things a little healthier around here, I decided to make chimichurri. I also haven’t done a recipe for it on Drizzle and Dip, and since I adore all manner of green sauces, it was time.
I’m so pleased I did. The sauce is super tasty, absolutely perfect with roast beef, and I am already plotting ways to use it when the meat is eaten. It really is a fabulous all-round salsa delivering fresh and vibrant South American flavours.
As for the roast beef, I had this very large chunk of beef rib on the bone in my freezer, and I’m on a mission to eat all the wonderful produce I have stashed there as soon as possible, and before buying more food. Leftover beef is fantastic in sandwiches, wraps and salads, so I’ll be nibbling on this for the next few days.
There is no set recipe to roast meat as all cuts and shapes are different. Work on weight as a basis to gauge the time, but then use a digital thermometer to measure the temperature in the thickest part of the meat to determine the level of doneness. In my case, I tested it at 45 C, put it back in, but then left it a little too long and it cooked to medium-well vs. the lovely pink medium rare that I had hoped for. It was still delicious, but I was ultra disappointed not to have beautiful pink laters of beef to photograph.
I like to employ Jamie Oliver’s method to roast meat and that is to whack the oven to full blast. When it reached the highest temperature, that is when your meat goes in. You then immediately turn the oven down to 200 C and cook your meat for the required length of time. The objective is to seal the meat with the initial blast of heat. As a food stylist, when cooking a piece of meat that is of manageable in size, i.e. can fit into a large frying pan, I like to pan-sear it in a fiercely hot pan (with oil) on all sides. This way I am assured of the perfect caramelisation for visual appeal. I then place it in the oven at 200C and roast away.
Oh, and since the oven is on and the tray has space, I always like to roast my meat with a few veggies like potatoes, onions and carrots. Put these in 45 minutes before your meat is due to come out.
Since we are saving by not using béarnaise in this recipe, I thought a few crunchy fries were the perfect thing. I like to make my own rosemary and lemon salt which I grind to a fine powder, This helps it adhere better to the fries and is just so much more delicious and interesting than plain salt. Trust me, once you go down this road, you will never want to just plain ol’ salt on your chips again.
To make this salt I grate the zest of a lemon, tear a few leaves off a fresh rosemary stalk, put it in a mortar and pestle or a coffee bean grinder with sea salt flakes such as Maldon of Falke salt (approx 2 1/2 tablespoons) and process. Add more or less, it doesn’t really matter. You could play around with other herbs such as thyme, depending on what you are serving your chips with. My preference for potatoes is rosemary.
For the chimichurri, I used this recipe on Food52 as my starting point but altered the quantities of red wine vinegar and olive oil. I wanted my sauce thicker and this would have made its way too runny. I also decided to pop it all into the food processor because as much as I like to see a chunky chimichurri with all the visible particulates, who has the time to chop all the herbs finely by hand. Also, when it’s processed, I feel the flavours are blended together better and the sauce slightly emulsifies which is preferable. My herb quantities vary slightly and I added 2 teaspoons of agave nectar as I felt it needed a tinge of sweet. Agave has a neutral taste and is naturally lower in GI sugar. It is in syrup form, so it makes it the perfect ingredient to add to sauces because it doesn’t add any additional flavour and doesn’t need to dissolve like sugar.
Make your fries the way you normally would. I prefer to use oven fries as they are less greasy and I can’t bear all the clean up after frying food en masse in my kitchen. Sprinkle the lemon and rosemary salt while they are hot and toss around in a bowl to coat.
roast beef with chimichurri and fries with lemon, rosemary salt
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1t salt (kosher or sea salt flakes)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 shallot, finely chopped or 1/4 of a white onion
- 1 chilli, finely chopped – I used a green, medium heat Serenade chilli (jalapeño would work)
- 30g flat leaf parsley,stalks removed
- 30g coriander, stalks removed
- 10g fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 t agave nectar / syrup
- Chop the onion and chilli very finely and put it in a bowl with the salt, red wine vinegar and garlic.
- Remove the stalks from all the herbs and put these in a food processor. Pulse until they are fairly finely minced. Add the onion and vinegar mix, olive oil and agave syrup and process until the desired consistently. You want it mixed, but still have a bit of texture.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.
If you like your chimichurri very chunky, cut all the ingredients finely by hand. To make it spicier add more chilli or use a hotter chill.
- Serving Size: makes about 1 cup
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