A few years ago my friend Liz was up in the Boston area and we went out to dinner somewhere north of Boston. I think it was an Argentinian restaurant, but I’m not 100% sure. This was pre food allergy apocalypse, but I was in a phase of not eating much beef. For whatever reason I ordered pork chops, which, I think, is an odd choice for me — I can’t recall ordering them out before or since. But these were amazing. They were marinated in chimichurri sauce and then grilled. This recipe is my attempt to recreate that meal, but also just to make chimichurri.
Chimichurri sauce, as the internet has well-educated me, is a traditional Argentinian condiment that the non-South American internet has fallen in love with, and, as the internet is wont to do, bastardized. Yes, you can add all sorts of ingredients to all sorts of recipes, but then they are no longer that thing, right? So far as I can tell, this is a reasonably traditional chimichurri. From what I can tell, it doesn’t really need anything else — it’s really good as it is.
The other thing that internet writers rail against is the claim that, in Argentina, chimichurri is used “like ketchup” or “on everything.” Now, I do have one friend who does use ketchup on everything, but overall, ketchup is not all that universal in my opinion. But I do think that the reason writers may say these things about chimichurri is that it really is amazing and, if you make it, YOU might want to use it on everything. And because I’m me, I’m frying my breakfast potatoes in it now. I may need chimichurri in my life forever. See, internet, that’s just projection.
I pulled the parsley apart, measured it, and scaled the recipe to the amount of parsley I had. I’d suggest you consider doing the same unless you are way better at using up leftover parsley than I am. I’m pretty sure that traditionally, fresh oregano would be used. I couldn’t find any. I used dried. I also used a food processor. Tradition only goes so far. This recipe does make way more than you need for a recipe of pork chops, unless you’re cooking for a mob, so make plans for the leftovers. (Breakfast potatoes.)
Chimichurri Sauce Grilled Pork Chops
- 4 cups flat leaf parsley, leaves removed from stems (one bunch of parsley)
- 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
- 6 cloves of garlic, or about 1/4 of the head
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or you know, “enough.” Do people measure freshly ground pepper, really? I never do.)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1.5 cups olive oil
With your S-blade in your food processor, pulse the parsley down a bit.
Add the oregano, garlic, salt, and red and black peppers. Pulse until ground.
Scrape the ground herbs and spices into a bowl. Stir in the vinegar, and then the oil — use a fork to get the best mixing.
Let this sit at room temperature for 2 hours to let the flavors meld, and then bottle up and store in the fridge. I’m assuming this will last a few weeks. To use, spoon herbs up from the bottom and use as a marinade, condiment, or anything else you can think up.
For the pork chops:
- thick, bone-in pork chops, however many you need.
In a glass dish, spoon a layer of chimichurri into the bottom of a glass dish. Place pork chops on top of this layer, and top with thick spoonsful of chimichurri. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours or so.
Grill by the “piled” method — put all your charcoal to one side (or turn on half the burners). Place the meat over the hot side of the grill to sear the outside, both sides, and then move to the cool side of the grill (which really isn’t cool) and cook until done. For pork, that’s 145°F, remembering to rest the meat for at least three minutes after cooking before cutting into.
Add some extra chimichurri before serving. Then proceed to prove the internet right and use chimichurri on all the things.
(P.S. to my friend Cathy, yes, this is just like when I discovered lefse and put “inappropriate” things on it.)