First Brazilian cheese bread, now some Argentinean action in a homemade chimichurri sauce. Maybe my sub-conscious is telling me I need to visit South America soon? Oooh…that would be very nice!
The truth is – I saw Valentine Warner on a BBC cooking show recently grilling a juicy slab of sirloin and accompanying that with an easy chimichurri sauce. I drooled. Hubby drooled. So I thought I should just stop drooling and get in the kitchen to re-create the meal.
And that I did…grilled sirloin steaks – check! Side salad – check! Brazilian cheese bread – check! Chimichurri sauce – check!
When I googled ‘chimichurri’, I found three interesting etymologies for the word chimichurri (extracted from Wikipedia, where else??):
One story claims that it comes from ‘Jimmy McCurry’, an Irishman who is said to have first prepared the sauce. He was marching with the troops of General Belgrano in the 19th century, sympathetic to the cause of Argentine independence. The sauce was popular and the recipe was passed on. However, ‘Jimmy McCurry’ was difficult for the native people to say. Some sources claim Jimmy’s sauce’s name was corrupted to ‘chimichurri’, while others say it was changed in his honor.
Other similar stories involve Jimmy Curry, an English meat importer; a Scot, James C. Hurray, travelling with gauchos; and an English family in Patagonia overheard by the group of Argentinians that were with them while saying “give me the curry”. All the stories share an English speaking colonist and the corruption of names or words by the local population.
The Argentinian gourmet Miguel Brasco claims that the word chimichurri originated when British were taken prisoner after England tried to invade the Spanish colony of Argentina. The prisoners asked for condiment for their food mixing english, aboriginal and Spanish (castilian) words. Che-mi-curry stands for “che mi salsa” (dame condimento) or “give me curry”. Later “che-mi-curry” corrupted to chimichurri.
I know…’Give me curry’ = ‘chimichurri’?? I don’t know if I buy that.
Whatever it is, here’s the recipe for Valentine’s chimichurri – it was all garlicky, vinegary with a slight kick from the chilli. Went beautifully with the juicy steaks. Delicious!
Forget about smooching after though, the garlic was rather lethal.