Red Chimichurri

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red chimichurri with venison steak
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

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.

red chimichurri recipe
4.46 from 11 votes

Red Chimichurri

This is a red version of the classic Argentinean green chimichurri sauce. It is built on the basic green sauce, but here you add paprika and peppers to the mix. It can either be hand chopped, as I do here, or you can buzz it in a blender; if you do that, this will lighten up the color considerably.
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Argentinean, South American
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 779IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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8 Comments

  1. Wonderful taste and a bit of zing! I used two small thai chilis and roasted a sweet orange pepper (all i had on hand); also curly leaf this time but will try flat leaf next to see which I like best. Going to be slathering this on some sous vide beef roast later tonight!

  2. Ok, I love green chimichurri- so I thought I’d give this one a try. My garden is fading and I have several very red peppers. I used a few mild Hungarian, a few shishito and 2 serrano (because in the current environment- we don’t run out to the grocery store for 1 red pepper). Also used some smoked paprika my sister gave me that she picked up in Spain. Other than that, I made it as written. I seared a couple beef hanger steak tips in cast iron with just salt, pepper and a bit of butter to finish.

    Hank- this is awesome- I may now make this more often that green chimichurri!

  3. I’d use red Serrano because it actually has some flavor where cayenne and Thai are nothing but pure heat. This is very similar to what we’d get on Sundays on that old Brahma cow, the last one in on Saturday. Sunday barbecues on the rig in Colombia. The food would have been better if they’d left it to the crew. We knew the concept of low and slow and also knew the concept of no pink next to the chicken bone. I always had them push a hind quarter off to the side for another 10 minutes. I like Salmon, but I don’t care for Salmonella.

    1. Alec: I would not use a habanero, but if you are used to that level of heat, go for it. I would use something more like a red serrano or a fresh cayenne or a couple red Thai chiles.