In Argentina, chimichurri comes in two colors, the customary green as well as red chimichurri. This one adds sweet and hot peppers, plus paprika.
And as much as I love the regular green chimichurri, I actually prefer this red one. Especially in summer, and especially with venison steak.
The biggest difference, flavorwise, between red chimichurri and the green version is the presence of smoke and char: You use a roasted red pepper or two — piquillos would be the best, but a regular red bell pepper is perfectly fine — as well as smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is now in most supermarkets, but if you want the best, look for Pimenton De La Vera from Spain.
I really recommend that you hand chop everything here instead of using a food processor or blender. That pretty red color will turn to a weird orange if you buzz this sauce.
The only shortcut that works is to blast the shallot, garlic, hot pepper, roasted red pepper and parsley in a food processor, then mixing it all by hand with the remaining ingredients. That works if you need to make a ton of red chimichurri.
How to use it? Same way you would green chimichurri. Which, in Argentina, would be on grilled steak. I particularly like red chimichurri on grilled flat iron steak, or on a choripan sandwich. A what? Basically Argentina’s answer to a brat on a bun: Argentine chorizo on a bun. Damn good sandwich if you ask me.
Once made, your chimichurri will keep a few days in the fridge, although the parsley will turn olive drab over time. You can slow this process by using lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 or 2 small hot chiles, minced
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Mix the vinegar with the minced garlic, shallot, hot pepper and roasted red pepper and let this sit for 10 minutes or so to mellow out. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and let the sauce sit for at least a few minutes, or, better yet, an hour, before serving at room temperature.