Nicaraguan-Style Steak / Churrasco
The word churrasco is used throughout Latin America to describe beef cooked on the grill. In Nicaragua, it refers to a broad, thin steak cut from a beef tenderloin. Most steaks are cut across the muscle grain, but Nicaragua’s churrasco is cut along the grain. What results is a flat, thin piece of meat with a remarkable texture, a steak that’s tender enough to cut with a fork.

Nicaraguan churrasco is most always served with a trio of sauces: chimichurri, salsa marinara (Nicaraguan Tomato Sauce), and a spicy pickled onion sauce called cebollita. Side dishes may include fried or grilled plantains and refried beans and rice.

Content from

Chimichurri Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, with seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh curly parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (5-pound) whole beef tenderloin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the chimichurri, combine the garlic, bay leaves, jalapenos, and salt in a mortar and mash with a pestle until a smooth paste is formed (or you can puree with a small amount of vinegar in a blender). Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the parsleys and oregano. Whisk in the vinegar and olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

Trim the meat and remove any silverskin. Cut into 2 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Take the boning knife and cut in a circular motion so each round becomes one flat, long strip. Then, with a butcher’s mallet, pound the meat lightly. Season each strip generously with salt and pepper on each side.

Lightly oil the grate and place meat on the grate. Grill for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Transfer the meat to a serving plate. Serve with the chimichurri on the side.

{Serves 6-8}

Recipe from / Courtesy LATIN FLAVORS ON THE GRILL by Douglas Rodriguez (Ten Speed Press, 2000)

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