Do you tend to forget how awesome some foods are if you haven’t had them in a while? I do. I definitely forgot how awesome chimichurri was with steak until last weekend. I was over at a friend’s house and they grilled some beef and served it with chimichurri. Now, chimichurri isn’t unusual, but I have too rarely seen it served. Eating grilled beef and chimichurri at Santiago and Rebecca’s house isn’t the least bit unexpected–you see, Santiago is from Argentina. But somehow even when I saw the chimichurri, I did not remember how excellent it was until my first bite. Spoiler alert: It’s good :)
There is also something else a bit unusual going on here: quail eggs. I was recently told that my local egg supplier, Box Turtle Meadow Farm, not only had chicken and duck eggs, but also had quail eggs available! Obviously, I was eager to try them. When I finally got my hands on a few, I couldn’t think of what to do with them. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, steak with chimichurri was already on my mind. So I decided to put the two together. Steak and eggs isn’t uncommon, but steak and quail eggs… With chimichurri… Now that’s going to be a feast.
I rounded off the meal with some sweet glazed carrots and some mashed potatoes (with some sweet potato added for extra flavor).
I’ll try to post more information about quail eggs in the coming months as I play around with them and learn some more about their characteristics and how they can be used. I’ve already got a few dishes in mind and am looking forward to trying them out. If you have trouble locating quail eggs for this recipe, try looking in farmer’s markets or in Asian markets.
Steak with chimichurri and quail egg
Ingredients for the chimichurri
Makes about a cup
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
2-3 cloves garlic
lemon juice (about a whole lemon)
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil (up to a cup may be needed)
Directions for the chimichurri
To prep the parsley, grab the bunch and chop off the stems. It’s fine if there are still sections of stem, just grab the bunch of parsley and cut about 1/2 to 1/3 of the way down.
Food Processor Directions:
1. Pulse everything gently in the food processor until minced. Do not just run it until it becomes a paste. Paste=bad. Minced=good.
2. Set aside until ready to use. Can be made a few hours ahead of time.
Non-food Processor Directions (for people like me):
1. Mince the parsley into a fine, uh, mince. I did about half the parsley as a fine mince and the rest and only lightly minced to provide a bit of contrast in size.
2. Mince the garlic, add it to the parsley. Add a pinch of salt, lemon juice, and vinegar. Add about 3/4 of the oil you have and whisk together, adding more as needed. The thickness of the chimichurri is up to you. I made mine loose enough to pour and easily whisk, but thick enough that little piles would stand up under their own weight (like in the photos).
3. Set aside until ready to use. Can be made a few hours ahead of time.
Ingredients for steak and quail eggs
steak (I used shoulder steak this time because of a good sale, but NY Strip is my favorite cut for great flavor and texture)
2 quail eggs per cut of steak
salt and pepper
Directions for steak and quail eggs
1. Allow steak to come to room temperature. Season lightly with salt and a little pepper. Rub lightly with vegetable oil.
2. Heat a cast iron or regular skillet over medium high heat.
3. When hot, add about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to to skillet. Then add the steaks and sear the first side. The cooking time will depend on the thickness. For a medium-rare steak that is about 3/4 of an inch thick, cook for about a minute-and-a-half to two minutes a side.
4. After cooking the first side, flip the steaks. In the space in the pan surrounding the steaks, start frying the quail eggs. They are small and will cook fast. Once the white sets, gently lift them and place them on top of the steak until the steak finishes cooking. The steak will protect them from overcooking.
5. Using a spatula (gently, so the eggs don’t slide off), move the steaks to a resting tray to allow the juices to settle. A plate with an inverted saucer on it or a cooling rack placed in a cookie sheet work well. Allow to rest for at least a minute.
6. Serve with the chimichurri either on the side or spooned across the top of the steak.