Argentine Chili with Chimichurri

Packed with herbs, onions and garlic with EVOO and vinegar, chimichurri is a sassy sauce for a spicy chili. Re-heat or freeze leftover chili or the chimichurri for later use.


For the chili

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds lean ground sirloin, patted dry
  • 1/4-1/3 pound Spanish-style chorizo, casing removed and chopped or crumbled (recommended: Gaspar’s or Trois Petit Cochons)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 2 small chile peppers, red preferably, very thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh chopped oregano, leaves chopped or 1 teaspoon dried, scant 1/3 palmful
  • 1 rounded tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, a slightly mounded palmful
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ground arbol or ancho chili powder, a slightly mounded palmful
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock

For the chimichurri

  • 1 cup packed herbs, coarsely chopped, including any mixture of: parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil or cilantro leaves
  • 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • About 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Crusty warm bread, for serving


To make the chili, heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the EVOO, a turn of the pan, and the meat and brown until crispy, 8-10 minutes. Add the chorizo and render the fat a bit, then add the onions, garlic and chiles and season with salt and lots of black pepper, to taste. Cook for 5-6 minutes more to soften the onions, then add the oregano, paprika, and chili powder. Once the onions are tender add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the stock, lower the heat, and simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Can be cooled and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal and reheated over medium-low heat with a little extra broth or water to reconstitute. The chili also freezes well.

To make the chimichurri, put the herbs, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, vinegar and oil in food processor bowl. Pulse-process until finely chopped but still a loose sauce. Sauce can be made fresh or refrigerated for a few days in airtight container.

Transfer the hot chili to serving bowls and topped with Chimichurri sauce. Serve with lots of crusty warm bread. You can also top with finely chopped seeded tomatoes, if desired.

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