Yesterday, Rahul and I purchased more herbs for our garden now that the cold weather is truly behind us. Luckily, we already had two basil plants that were ready and willing for me to pluck them down for new growth. What do you do with 40 basil leaves? You make basil chimichurri sauce.
Chimichurri sauce is traditionally made with loads of parsley, garlic, spices and olive oil and then spread atop a finely grilled steak. It may be spicy from red pepper flakes or a hot red chili pepper depending on who makes it. Similar to a pesto without the parmesan cheese, it is always green from the herbs and a delicious accompaniment to any grilled meat.
Since I had so much basil on hand, I swapped out a majority of the parsley for the basil and created my own spin on it by using roasted garlic, a mild red chili pepper for color and a wee bit of red pepper flakes for heat.
Doesn’t it look so delicious that you could just pick up that spoon and eat it straight? I could dip pita bread in it, pour it over cooked pasta, the possibilities are endless!
Everything that had to do with the steak involved Rahul. As master griller for Solid Gold Eats, Rahul decided to pick out wood chips to experiment with for this recipe. Neither of us had used wood chips before (I know, I know, where have we been?) so with our desire to grill out more often, we picked up a bag of Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrel Smoking Chips.
The wood chips must soak in water for 30 minutes, giving me time to prepare the basil chimichurri sauce and let the steak rest at room temperature before grilling. From opening the bag to soaking the chips, the entire kitchen smelled of whiskey. Can’t say I complained.
After soaking, Rahul placed the majority of the wood chips on the charcoal and a small amount in a foil boat to place on the grill. There they would heat up with the charcoal, creating an aroma of whiskey that would penetrate the rib-eye steak.
Considering the colorful green basil chimichurri sauce and the char on that thick, rib-eye steak, I’d say this is one recipe that packs the most flavor punch in the least amount of time. It takes longer to bring the grill to the right temperature than it does to cook the meat, and with the power of a food processor, the sauce comes together in even less time.
What’s even better is that this recipe makes far more sauce than you need for one steak, albeit a thick one. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and used as a dressing for pasta salad. I cooked lentils and ditalini, then poured a few tablespoons of the leftover basil chimichurri sauce to stir in. Instant awesomeness.
Grilled Steak with Basil Chimichurri Sauce
- 3 handfuls of Jack Daniels Whiskey Smoking Chips
- 1 1/2 pound bone-in rib-eye steak
- 40 basil leaves
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves roasted garlic
- 1/2 red chili pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
- Create a small boat out of foil to hold about 1/2 of the chips while the rest can be placed directly on the charcoal while you prepare the grill.
- Allow the rib-eye steak to sit at room temperature while the grill heats up. Season with salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Create the basil chimichurri sauce by pulsing the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until combined.
- Grill the steak for 5 minutes on each side for rare meat, 6-7 minutes on each side for medium rare, which is close to what our steak was. We’re just not rare meat eaters.
- Cook it to the doneness of your preference. Serve with a spoonful of basil chimichurri on top and enjoy!