A few months ago, I posted a recipe for Churrasco Steak with Chimichurri highlighting the traditional Argentine sauce made from parsley, oregano, garlic, and red wine vinegar called chimichurri verde. Here is a great recipes for chimi’s lesser known cousin chimichurri roja or red chimichurri sauce.
It’s amazing how adding a little paprika and tomato (in this case tomato paste) to essentially the same sauce will change it’s entire character. The sauce becomes much more earthy and robust in flavor with some smoky undertones from the combination of paprikas. I used a combination of sweet paprika and smoked paprika because I like the idea of a little smoky flavor, but didn’t want it to overpower the other flavors in the sauce. Plus all smoked paprikas are not created equal, so best to give a little taste test adding a little at a time before committing. I also cranked up the heat in this sauce with the addition of cayenne pepper… of course feel free to scale back if that kind of spice isn’t you thing!
Don’t be overwhelmed and not make this sauce just because it has a few ingredients. The spices are pretty basic and are most likely already in your pantry. Just measure straight in to the food processor, blitz it a few time and it’s done!
Red Chimichurri Grilled Pork Chops
makes four servings
Four 1-inch thick pork loin chops
For the chimichurri:
2 cups Italian parsley, packed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste (the kind in the tube, not the can)
2 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika and/or smoked paprika (I used half of each)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 extra virgin olive oil
Two-zone direct heat
Place chops in a shallow baking dish just big enough to hold the chops in a single layer or in a resealable plastic bag.
Place all of the ingredients for the chimichurri, except the olive oil, in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Measure out 1/2 cup of sauce, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the grilled chops. (The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days.) Pour the remaining sauce over the chops and make sure that all sides are well-coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or as long as overnight.
Remove the chops from the marinade and scrape away excess marinade from the chops. Let sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes to take the chill off the meat.
Set up grill for direct heat grilling with two zones: high heat and medium heat. For charcoal grills, this means fewer coals on the lower heat side. Brush and oil the grates before cooking.
Season the chops generously with salt and pepper and place on the high heat side for two minutes to sear the meat, flip and sear the other side for two minutes. Move chops to the medium heat; rotate 90 degrees for crosshatch marks. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F for medium (medium is 145°F; the temperature will rise another 5 degrees with carryover heat).
Allow the chops to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving with reserved red chimichurri sauce.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!