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The Perfect Steak With Chimichurri

Francis Mallmann

Lesson time 14 min

“It’s always a mystery when you cook a steak.” If anyone in the world is going to teach you how to grill the perfect steak, it should be Francis Mallmann. Watch and learn from the master of meat the core principles of live-fire cooking. And no steak would be complete without a traditional herbaceous chimichurri sauce.

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– Perfect. So today we’re trying to climb into the perfect steak. So what is the perfect steak? First of all, is the quality of the meat. It has to be very good. My butcher hangs the whole carcass of the cow for 21 days at two degrees. That means that it’s not zero degrees or minus one or four. It’s two degrees. And there in 21 days, bones on, the meat starts to develop this delicious taste. If you go further up, you should have to butcher it cut it in pieces and do dry aged. But that’s not my thing. I don’t like it very much. I find it dry. I like more of the 21 days. So the quality of the beef has to be good. Now I’m gonna butcher it. And we’ll talk about the details. First. I’m gonna get some boiling water in my sea salt to make brine that we call sal muerta. That means dead salt. Why is that? Because the sea salt with the boiling water will disappear. It will erase into salty water. And that’s what we called sal muerta. And that’s the basis of our chimichurri, the national sauce for meat. I go into the casserole. And a little bit more. Water takes salt, but not too much salt. That means that if you do this and the salt doesn’t completely disappear. Now it did. It means that it’s too much salt. But I’m gonna add the oregano and the bay leaf for the chimichurri. Well, the gauchos are the local cowboys and they had in the saddle of the horse, a little leather thing to have a bottle of chimichurri there, like a gun, the gun, the knife, and the chimichurri. Because they would eat meat for breakfast, meat for lunch and meat for dinner. And they’re very lean and healthy people. That’s the only thing they eat, maybe a potato if they’re lucky. So the gauchos, you know, obviously they didn’t have fresh oregano. So if you have a very good oregano that someone dries it carefully as this one, it’s still very good. So that starts to merge there and I’m gonna get some garlic. I think I’ll use these four. I’m gonna get some knives. I get my famous ax, this one to chop this one, to smash the garlic and this one to cut the meat. So first of all, you are gonna smash the garlic. Okay, so this is ready to go into the chimi. Chimichurri lives well in a bottle of glass, up to 10 days in the fridge, and it even improves a bit Chili flakes. I like it spicy. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming though. You know, it’s, it’s more like a caress, we’re going to make to the taste of the meat in our mouth. It’s not something that should overtake it. You still want to feel the delicious taste of the meat. Ad a bit of parsley too. Has such a delicious smell, this parsley. It’s like being in the fields. I wanna chop it a bit. I press it up with my fingers like that. I don’t want to cut it too, too small, you know for the chimichurri I don’t like to see big pieces on it. That’s good. Now we get very good red wine vinegar. Has to be generous. I would say like for this amount, half a cup and some nice olive oil as well, quite generously. So it’s important that we look now at the consistency of this. You see that there’s quite a bit of liquid, which is the salt, the vinegar and the olive oil but there is a strength to that spoonful. You see? So this is what I would put on a steak. Some olive oil, as you can see there and a lot of the herbs. Okay, so that’s ready. This is the shoulder, the back of the animal here. And it’s very delicious part. This part of the ribeye has this, which is the top of the ribeye which is one of the most delicious cuts in the beef. You see, I’m gonna show it to you now. And no more touching than this, eh this is how I’m gonna cook it. Just like that. Here we have again, that beautiful cut. So I’m gonna cook these two. I’m gonna let the salt slowly melt on the top. As I cook the bottom. And I look at my fire, the planter is very very hot there and I’m gonna cook it very gently on the side because it’s a big steak. I would say that there are 600 grams each. A bit of olive oil. So I’m gonna place it there. And that’s it. I won’t move it until I flip it. So that’s very important. I leave space in between both of them. So they don’t boil the space here so they can breathe and you don’t flip and flop leave it there. I think this will be there for today eight minutes and then four minutes on the second side. But we see how it goes. It’s always a mystery when you do a steak. I can talk about it. I can write about it. But every time I cook a delicious piece of meat I have doubts after 50 years, you know. I have to be here. I have to look at it constantly and see what’s happening. This can be done in the same way on a grill. Grill is very good too, plus the smoke. So if you grill it, you will have the smokey taste as well. You can do it on a gas too. You can use a beautiful cast iron as well. So taste and meat is related to the fat, not only the meat. So here you can see the marbling, all those beautiful lines like a marble, all that, this even, I love that piece of fat in the middle there. All that will slowly melt and give taste to the meat as it cooks. So the marbling is very, very important. It talks about the good breed of an incredible animal who has eaten well, grass fed, happy and healthy. I think the future of meat is less meat of more quality. And I think the world is taking us there. You know, I think we will have to stop all this meat sort of farming of beasts that, you know they’re raised in antibiotics, anabolics and whatnot. Like in the cage, they don’t move they just eat grains and they’re shot constantly so they don’t get sick. That’s very sad. So I think the governments have to, in a way make laws that prevent the use of anabolics and antibiotics and the horrible way we raise animals in the farms nowadays, all the animals. I think that’s the first change that will come very soon with meat. So we leave it cook. Let me see how that’s going. We wait now. So I’m gonna plate it. And one and two, take it to the table here and put some delicious chimichurri on it. And then what we do is we put a bit of chimichurri in the plate for the guest to add if they want but you have to see a bit of the meat as we have it now. My God, I really like that. How it’s cooked. It’s it is perfect. This is the way we eat it at home. Every Sunday, we eat a steak with chimichurri. Be happy and enjoy.

About the Instructor

Francis Mallmann, the pioneer of open-fire cooking, is South America’s most famous chef and is known for his rustic open-fire cooking style in wild and remote locations. Join the James Beard award-winning author and Chef’s Table star as he brings you on a journey into his kitchen in the Patagonian wild where he teaches you how to master the grill and his Argentine-style barbecue.

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