29 March 2009

Chimichurri. My favorite BBQ sauce.

My mom was born and raised in Argentina - and learned to cook from an Italian family. So despite growing up in Germany, I almost never had typical German meals at home. Instead, there was often homemade pasta, gnocchi, lasagna and cannelloni. And the occasional BBQ in the summer that was impossible without this sauce. Everyone has their own recipe, and even mine is very different from the chimichurri my mom makes. There must be millions of variants: red or green, hot or mild, sweet or sour, thick or thin.

This is for Ben and Bryan - my New Zealand mates who liked to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon...



1 large glass jar (best is an open-mouthed jam or gherkin jar)
boiling water
1 large onion
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
5 tablespoons dried Italian herbs (basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup ketchup

Place the jar and its lid in your kitchen sink and fill both with boiling water. Leave it like that for at least 10 minutes - this is for sterilizing the jar, so that the sauce keeps longer (not that it ever lasted in my fridge that long so that it would have gone bad...).


Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and the garlic cloves. Empty the glass jar - be careful not to burn your fingers - place it on your working surface and fill in the garlic and onion dices.


The onions should come up to 1/3 to max. 1/2 of the height of the jar. Bring more water to boil and just cover the onions - that makes them softer and less harsh in taste.

Yeah, the label is still on the jar, my brother and I were too lazy to remove it.


Add all the dry spices and give it all a stir. Then pour in the ketchup, the vinegar and the olive oil. Give it a taste and then place it in the fridge till you need it.


Oh, and it's one of the most versatile sauces: apart from tasting great with grilled stuff (like steaks, sausages, mushrooms, vegetables, etc.) you can also use it as marinade for chicken and as a salad dressing. Or simply dip in some bread or your finger...


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