I’m having dinner guest tonight and I am serving up a grilled sirloin petite steak with a South American flavor. The chipotle chile in adobo sauce kicks up the flavors while the lime juice and cilantro absorb some of the heat by adding a bit of sweetness to the mix.
I have to take a moment to do a quick shout out to my dinner guest. I love cooking for family and friends, but these two have a special place in my heart! They are always open to trying all my recipes. They have been so supportive of me and this blog. I hope you all have friends like this in your life: charming, humorous, and filled with so much kindness! So to my guest, and you know who you are, I love you forever and I want to thank you for sharing this meal with me.
When it comes to grilled steaks, I like to serve it with a side of chimichurri sauce for dipping. Chimichurri is one of the most delicious sauces that compliment rather than overpower the grilled meat. I have provided my favorite version below, but the beauty of chimichurri is in the personal taste. Reduce the garlic, replace the oregano with flat leaf parsley – no problem. Have fun by adjusting the ingredients and see what you can come up with.
Squeeze juice from 2 medium limes into a food processor. Add 3 garlic cloves, 2 cups lightly packed cilantro, 1/3 cup chipotle chile and an adobo sauce (a 7.5-ounce can), 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons chili amber vinegar, 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to a puree.
Place 2 pounds of beef sirloin petite steak in a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag. Chill at least 4 hours, or better yet overnight to really absorb the deliciousness. I wish I could share just how good this marinade smells. It’s almost a sin to discard it later.
My favorite chimichurri sauce: In a food processor pulse 6 garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of chopped red onion until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup fresh oregano and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro and pulse briefly to chop the herbs. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. You can use an Italian-style parsley in place of the oregano, but I love the dense flavor that oregano adds.
Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons chili amber vinegar, and the juice from a half of a lime. Stir to blend. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Remove steak from marinade, discard marinade. Grill over a medium-hot grill. Because a sirloin petite steak is thicker than a regular steak it will need a longer grill time. In order to seal in the juice try to sear the steak first. Heat the grill to 400°F. and cook the steak for about 4 minutes. Turn and grill the other side for an additional 4 minutes. Turn down the grill to a 325°F. heat and cook until done to your liking, about 25 more minutes for a medium doneness, flipping occasionally to cook evenly. Transfer steak to a rimmed board or a platter. Let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain.
This is an impressive dish that will earn you ohhs and ahhs, but still allows you to sit around the grill and enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine with your guest without feeling rushed or stressed to get dinner done. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you! – Ella
*You can substitute red wine vinegar, but I really love the chili amber with this recipe as it enhances the South American flavors perfectly. I use Wei Pantry for its subtle flavors.
South American Sirloin Petite Steak
• 2 pounds beef sirloin petite steak, rinsed and patted dry
• 2 limes
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2cups lightly packed fresh cilantro
• 1⁄3 cup chipotle chile in adobo, 7.5 oz can
• 1⁄4 cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons *chili amber vinegar
• 2 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
• Salt and pepper, to taste
- Squeeze juice from limes and pour into a food processor or blender. Add garlic, cilantro, chiles and their sauce, oil, vinegar, cumin, chile powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to a puree.
- Place steak in a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag. Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Remove steak from marinade and grill over a medium-hot heat, turning every 4 to 5 minutes, until browned on both sides and done to your liking, about 25 minutes total for medium.
- Transfer steak to a rimmed board or a platter. Let rest 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice meat across the grain.
• 6 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
• 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
• 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons *chili amber vinegar
• 1 tablespoon lime juice or to taste
• Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste
- Pulse the garlic and onion in a food processor, or blender just until they are finely chopped.
- Add the oregano and cilantro, and pulse briefly, just until the herbs are finely chopped.
- Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Stir to blend.
- Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.