Wednesday, September 30, 2009




Source: Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann
(Artisan, 2009)
Method: Grilling over embers
Serves: 1
Advance Preparation: Make chimichurri sauce 1 day ahead

One 1-pound boneless rib-eye steak per person, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick
Coarse salt
Chimichurri (recipe follows)

Make a wood fire about an hour before you plan to serve the meat.
Shovel or rake a 2- to 3-inch bed of coals under the grill grate. (The
grate should be 3 to 4 inches above the coals.) You want a medium-high
temperature, a "2 Mississippi" fire. Salt the steak(s) to taste. Brush
and oil the grill grate.

Place the meat on the grill. Rotate the meat after 5 minutes. Cook for
4 more minutes, then turn the steak(s) over with tongs and cook for
approximately 7 more minutes, or until medium-rare, rotating after 4
minutes to achieve a handsome crosshatch of grill marks. Transfer the
steak(s) to a platter and let rest for 3 minutes. Serve with

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup water
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt and stir
until it dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Mince the garlic very fine and put in a medium bowl. Mince the parsley
and oregano and add to the garlic along with the pepper flakes. Whisk
in the vinegar, then the olive oil. Whisk in the salt-water mixture.
Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at
least 1 day. Chimichurri will keep, refrigerated, for 2 to 3 weeks.


Recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen's Indoor Grilling (Workman, 2004)
Method: Grilling over embers
Serves: 4 to 6 as an appetizer

When Argentineans say grilled cheese, they really mean it—thick slabs
of provoleta (a firm cow's milk cheese similar to provolone) seared on
the gridiron until they are melted and lightly browned. It's mandatory
fare at any Argentine steakhouse and a great recipe to do in the

2 thick slices of provoleta or Provolone (each about 3/4 to 1 inch thick and
8 ounces)
1 tablespoon good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns
2 teaspoons dried oregano, or 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves,
preferably small ones
Crusty bread for serving

Brush each slice of cheese on both sides with the cracked black
peppercorns and oregano.
Prepare a wood fire. Rake red hot embers under the gridiron and
preheat it for 3 to 5 minutes. You want a hot, 2 to 3 Mississippi
fire. When ready to cook, brush and oil the gridiron. Place the cheese
slices on the hot grate. The cheese will be done after cooking 2 to 4
minutes per side. Take care to remove it before the cheese melts on
the embers.

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