The life of a cowboy is seemingly simple: days spent herding cattle and tending to farmland, nights spent sitting around a campfire. But for many South Americans, being a gaucho is much more than just fulfilling an occupation. Gauchos hold a symbolic role in the hearts of people; they represent freedom and courage, of people who work and live in accordance with their beliefs and ideals. You can learn more—and meet a real-life gaucho—on our South America Adventure: Chile, Argentina & Uruguay adventure.
There’s one more way the gaucho lifestyle represents the best of South America: through food! Gathering for a delicious meal is an important cultural tradition in here, and no style of cooking is more beloved than grilling. After all, hosting a grilling extravaganza, or asado, is a great way to celebrate with friends and family. The tradition of slowing roasting many different cuts of meat over a fire originated in cattle-farming countries like Argentina and Uruguay, but the tradition has since spread throughout the Americas.
One of the tastiest aspects of South American grilling is the array of delicious sauces that accompany your meal. Chimichurri, one of the most common sauces from this region, is as simple to make as it is versatile to use. An essential part of any Argentinian parrillada, or barbecue mixed grill, this sauce is the perfect finishing touch to your grilled steak.
So this Memorial Day, channel your inner South American cowboy, trade your grocery store BBQ sauce for some homemade chimichurri, and make this a cookout to remember!
Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
- 3-6 garlic cloves (alter according to your preference)
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- 2 cups fresh parsley
- ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ to ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Finely chop the garlic and red onion together. For extra-fine results, use a food processor.
- Add in finely chopped parsley, oregano, and cilantro; mix thoroughly.
- Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lime juice; mix thoroughly.
- Add chopped herbs to liquid mixture; stir. Season with salt to taste. For an extra kick, top with red pepper flakes. Put in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note: Chimichurri sauce is traditionally brushed on top of cooked meat, but can also be used as a meat or veggie marinade, as a dipping sauce, or drizzled over cheese. The possibilities are endless!