Cookbook Profile

Nicaraguan-Style Churrasco

Serves 6 to 8


Cutting The MeatChurrasco is a traditional Argentinean dish made with skirt steak, a flavorful but fairly tough piece of meat cut from the beef skirt. The cut was invented by a famous steakhouse in Nicaragua, called Los Ranchos, and the objective is to imitate the look of a long strip of steak that, when cooked, is tender enough to be cut with a fork. I make my version with beef tenderloin—it's not as economical as using skirt steak, but it elevates a humble dish to company food.


Parsley Chimichurri
6 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
2 jalapeño chiles,
   with seeds, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup finely minced fresh curly parsley
1/2 cup fresh finely minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh finely minced oregano
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 (5-pound) whole beef tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground pepper.


1. To make the chimichurri, combine the garlic, bay leaves, jalapeños, and salt in a mortar and mash with a pestle until a smooth paste is formed (or you can purée with a small amount of vinegar in a blender). Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the parsleys and oregano. Whisk in the vinegar and olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

3. Trim the meat and remove any silverskin. Cut into 2-1/2 -inch-thick rounds. Take the boning knife and cut in a circular motion so each round becomes one flat, long strip. Then, with a butcher's mallet, pound the meat lightly. Season each strip generously with salt and pepper on each side.

4. Lightly oil the grate and place the meat on the grate. Grill for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

5. Transfer the meat to a serving plate. Serve with the chimichurri on the side.

Buy the Book!


Douglas Rodriguez's
Latin Flavors on the Grill

With Andrew DiCataldo
Ten Speed Press, 2000
Hardback, $35.00
Color photos throughout
ISBN: 1-58008-055-3
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Douglas Rodriguez's
Latin Flavors on the Grill



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This page created December 2000