Gaucho Style Grilled Steak






Unfortunately, I had to call an audible this week.  This wasn’t the selection I was originally going to go with.  I was gutted this past weekend when I read that the great Walter Becker, one half of the Steely Dan duo, had left us.  I never got to see them play live either as my concert going days have long ended and the band didn’t start really touring prior to that.  But that does not mean I have not been a huge fan of their music for decades.  So many great songs to listen to.  The terrific blend of rock and jazz that’s so easy to groove to and just sit back and enjoy.

Luckily for us the last great Steely Dan album Gaucho also lends its name to a really great Argentinian style of grilled food, especially steak, which we are doing here this week.  The legendary gauchos, the cowboys of the Argentinian plains, are as romanticized as are our own cowboys of the old west in the United States.  It is to them that this dish is attributed to grilled spicy meat cooked out on a lonely campfire topped with one of the most recognized foods in Argentina, Chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri sauce varies greatly but the basic recipe is parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt chopped together very finely.  It makes a wonderful sauce to top spicy, grilled meats and even seafood.  I like to put an intricate yet uncomplicated dry rub on a steak that marries well with an accompanying sauce or topping.  That’s what I’ve done in this week’s recipe for my tribute to Steely Dan and the late Walter Becker.





            1 Flank Steak (about 1 ¾ to 2 lbs.)

Olive Oil


1 TSP Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

½ TSP Cracked Black Peppercorns

2 TSP Ground Cumin

1 TSP Ground Coriander

1 TBSP Ancho Chili Powder

¼ TSP Cayenne Pepper

½ TSP Garlic Powder

1 TSP Dried Oregano


½ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped Italian Parsley

½ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped Cilantro

2 TBSP fresh Oregano leaves

2 large Garlic cloves roughly chopped

1 small Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1 medium Poblano Pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

½ of a medium sized White Onion, peeled and roughly chopped

½ TSP fine Sea Salt

¼ TSP freshly ground Black Pepper

1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar

3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil



  1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for cooking on high heat. Oil the grates before cooking.
  2. Rub the Steak with a little Olive Oil to coat the meat for the grill and the Dry Rub
  3. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the dry rub and mix together till blended thoroughly
  4. Rub the Steak with the Dry Rub all over both sides of the meat and let rest while you make the Chimichurri Sauce
  5. In a food processor or blender combine the Parsley, Cilantro, Oregano, Garlic, Jalapeno, Poblano Pepper, Onion, Salt, Pepper, and Vinegar. Pulse a few times to get started.
  6. Now turn the food processor or blender on and while running slowly add the Olive Oil to make the sauce. If the sauce seems a bit dry add a few droplets of water to make it more consistent or to your liking.
  7. Scrape out the sauce and transfer to a bowl and let rest while you grill the steak.
  8. Once your grill has reached a good temperature of about 350 degrees F place the Steak directly over the flames or hot coals and cook turning once about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the Steak, for medium rare.
  9. Remove the Steak from the grill and transfer to a cutting board. Slice evenly against the grain.
  10. Top each piece of sliced Steak with a little Chimichurri Sauce and enjoy.


Serve with Grilled or Roasted Potatoes and if still in season Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter.


WINE PAIRING:  I won’t go into the When In Rome cliché but I am a believer that food from a specific region should usually be paired with wine from that region.  Here this is no exception and I would recommend a Malbec from Argentina.  Malbec is a very quaffable red varietal that is never complex but is an excellent food wine that pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables, cheeses, and pasta.  It handles spice very well too making this an ideal choice for our recipe.  Other options might be some great wines like Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.  There are a number of very good red wines from Chile and Argentina that would match well with this dish.


Match well and “Make tonight a wonderful thing!

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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