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Spice-Rubbed Steak with Chimichurri, White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

Mariel here. I don’t do a lot of steak-making in my little Manhattan apartment. For me, a juicy slab of sirloin or a meaty rib-eye conjures up images of backyard barbequeing, beach bonfiring and otherwise frolicking in unfenced Elysian fields. My kitchen is about 4’X4′ and as for the outdoor space…yeah, I’m not a celebrity. In NYC, green grass – or an alfresco patio – is for the rich and famous.

Anyway, I had a hankering for red meat this week and since I’m on a tireless quest to make the most out of my growing skillz in the kitchen, I decided to break my ban. And boy was I glad I did. The following recipe is inspired by my Argentine honeymoon (lomo con chimichurri was just about ubiquitous) and I have to say, I think I did the dish justice. While I pan-seared my sirloin on a mini stove-top, go ahead and fire up the BBQ if you’re lucky enough to have one at your disposal.

As for the “sauce,” there’s really no wrong way to chimichurri, but I think you’ll like this rendition if you’ve ever had the real thing. It makes more than enough for this meal, so store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container and use it to pep up plain white rice (which I did for a soon-to-be-posted recipe). Add about 1 tablespoon of chimichurri per cup of rice.

If you have your own favorite ‘churri creations, I’m all ears!

Spice-Rubbed Steak with Chimichurri, White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 4

Ingredients for the chimichurri:
1 cup (packed) fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (about one bunch worth) – $1.49
1 cup (packed) fresh cilantro (again, about a bunch) – $1.99
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves – $1.49
½ cup olive oil – stock
1/3 cup red wine vinegar – stock
3 garlic cloves, peeled – stock
¾ teaspoon cayenne – stock
½ teaspoon ground cumin – stock
½ teaspoon salt – stock
Dash black pepper – stock

Ingredients for the steak, beans, tomatoes:
1 ½ to 2 LBS sirloin steak – $7.00
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder – stock
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, divided – stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano – stock
Coarse kosher or sea salt – stock
½ teaspoon minced garlic – stock
2 15-oz cans of white beans, drained – $2.58
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes – $2.50
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided – stock
Salt & pepper to taste – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $17.05
Cost per serving: $4.26

Directions for the chimichurri:
1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature (can be made up to 2 hours in advance).

1b. If you don’t own a food processor, stir together vinegar, garlic (which you’ll have to mince by hand), cayenne, cumin, salt and black pepper until salt is dissolved. Whisk in oil until combined, then whisk in parsley, thyme and cilantro (which you’ll also have to dice by hand). Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Directions for the steak, beans and tomatoes:
1. Mix the chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, salt, pepper and oregano in small bowl. Rub spices all over steak (I gently palpated the sirloin with the tips of my fingers to tenderize it a bit, don’t go nuts though).

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest.

3. Wipe out the skillet and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add tomatoes and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Add the drained beans and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. If the concoction gets a bit dry, add teaspoons of water.

4. Slice the meat (going with the grain), spoon the chimichurri over the sirloin. Serve warm alongside the tomatoes and white beans.