This churrasco steak is marinated in a savory-sweet, garlicky sauce and seared to juicy perfection. It’s served with bright and spicy chimichurri that will have your taste buds dancing.
Seared Churrasco Steak with Chimichurri
Can you hear it? The hiss of a juicy steak hitting the hot pan? Just the idea makes my mouth water. There is something so satisfying about a perfectly cooked steak. This South American classic, Churrasco, is one of my favorites. A garlicky, ever so slightly sweet marinade soaks into every inch of skirt steak before the meat is tossed onto a hot pan and seared. It is complemented beautifully by a classic chimichurri sauce full of parsley and bright lime flavors with a spice kick from a serrano chile. It’s practically irresistible.
What Is Churrasco Steak?
Churrasco steak is the Portuguese and Spanish name for steak grilled over an open flame. The dish is often served with a chimichurri sauce and is popular in Spain, Portugal, and much of South America.
What Cut of Meat is Churrasco?
Churrasco steak is generally made with skirt steak but flank steak is a popular alternative.
What’s The Difference Between Churrasco and Carne Asada?
Both churrasco and carne asada are beef dishes (generally made with skirt steak or flank steak) cooked at high temperatures. They have their differences, though. While churrasco is usually grilled over an open flame, carne asada is grilled over hot coals. When it comes to origin, churrasco is popular in Spain, Portugal, and South America, whereas carne asada is a Mexican dish.
Here’s a list of ingredients you will need to make this skirt steak with chimichurri. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for specific measurements.
- Fresh parsley: You can use cilantro here too.
- Red wine vinegar
- Lime juice
- Lime zest
- Olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Freshly squeezed orange juice: I highly recommend squeezing your own orange juice. Store-bought products just won’t yield the same result.
- Olive oil
- Serrano Chile: I recommend seeding the chile. Not a Serrano fan? Try a jalapeno instead.
- Garlic cloves
- Skirt steak: Try to find a skirt steak that is about 1/2 inch thick. If you can’t find skirt steak, flank steak is a great alternative.
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil: Corn and canola oil will work as well.
- Beef broth
How to Make Churrasco Steak
Churrasco steak is generally grilled over an open flame, but I have adapted this recipe for the stovetop to make it more accessible. Here’s a brief rundown of how to make this irresistible skirt steak with chimichurri. Scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Make the chimichurri. Whisk together the parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Make the marinade. Blend the orange juice, olive oil, water, serrano chile, and 3 garlic cloves until smooth. Add the salt and blend to combine. Transfer the marinade to an airtight bag.
- Marinate the meat. Place the skirt steak along with 7 chopped garlic cloves in the bag, seal it, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Pat the meat dry and season it with salt and pepper.
- Cook the beef. Heat a pan over high heat for a couple of minutes before adding the vegetable oil. Sear the steak for 3-4 minutes on one side and 2-4 minutes on the other.
- Rest. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make the jus. Pour the beef broth into the pan, give it a stir, and cook over medium heat for 1 to 3 minutes.
- Slice the steak against the grain in 1″ slices. Pour the jus over the steak and serve the steak with chimichurri on the side.
Can Chimichurri Be Prepared in Advance?
Absolutely. Mix together the ingredients for the chimichurri, seal the sauce in an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tips for Success
Steak can be tricky to get right. It’s often overly dry and/or lacking flavor. Fret not, though. I have assembled a few simple tips and tricks that will help you achieve the juiciest, tastiest churrasco steak you’ve ever had. Here they come.
- Don’t skimp on marinade time. Skimping on marinating time will leave you with a bland steak. Allow the flavors of the marinade to seep into the meat for at least 1 hour.
- Cook at a high enough temperature. When searing the steak, cook over high heat. This will allow the steak to brown properly, ending you with a juicier, more flavorful dish.
- Don’t crowd the pan. If you crowd the pan, not only will the steak not brown properly but it will release all of its moisture, leaving you with a tough, dry finished product. So, if you are doubling or tripling this recipe to serve a crowd, be sure to cook the steak in batches.
- Let it rest. It is important to let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle in the meat, producing a more flavorful, juicy skirt steak.
- Cut against the grain. Cutting against the grain makes steak more tender and easier to chew.
What to Serve with Skirt Steak Churrasco
This simple steak recipe goes beautifully with a wide variety of side dishes. Here are some of my favorite things to serve it with.
- Salad. I love this skirt steak churrasco with a light, refreshing salad. Try my Pomegranate Citrus Quinoa Salad with Cranberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette, this Olives and Avocado Salad with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese.
- Potatoes. Try my Lemon Garlic Oven-Roasted Potatoes or these Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes with Herb Butter.
- Grilled or roasted vegetables. I have been enjoying this beef churrasco with my Perfect Grilled Zucchini, this Grilled Corn with Feta Cheese and Chives Butter, and/or these Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables.
- Try it with Mexican salsa. Swap the chimichurri for your favorite Mexican salsa.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- If you find yourself with leftover churrasco steak, allow it to cool completely before sealing the steak and the chimichurri in separate airtight containers. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- To reheat refrigerated leftovers: Wrap the desired portion of steak in aluminum foil and bake at 325˚F for 10 to 15 minutes. If reheating from frozen, thaw the steak overnight and then reheat it in the oven at 325˚F for 20 minutes.
More Steak Recipes:
Looking for more steak recipes? I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorites.
- Air Fryer Steak
- Oven Grilled Steak
- Chili Lime Steak Fajitas in Foil Packs
- Juicy Steak Kabobs
- Easy Rib Eye Steak Dinner
- Steak and Mushrooms Foil Packs
- Flank Steak Peperonata
- Onion Gravy Smothered Steak
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ to ½ small serrano chile
- 10 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt until well combined. Set it aside until ready to use.
- Add the orange juice, olive oil, water, serrano chile, and 3 garlic cloves to the blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Add the salt. Process again to combine. Pour the marinade into a large container or a large resealable Ziploc bag.
- Finely chop the remaining 7 garlic cloves and add them to the marinade. Place the skirt steak in the marinade and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with a paper towel. Season it with salt and pepper to taste on all sides.
- Place a cast iron skillet or a large pan over high heat. Let it heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable oil and let it heat up for another minute. Add the seasoned steak and sear it for 3 to 4 minutes; flip it over and let it cook for 2 to 4 minutes on the other side for a medium-rare steak, or to an internal temperature of 130˚F to 135˚F. Cook it for another minute or so if you like your steak a little more cooked. Use a Meat Thermometer to check for doneness.
- Remove the steak from the skillet and set it on a cutting board. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the jus. Return the skillet to the burner and reduce the heat to medium. Pour the beef broth into the skillet and, using a wooden spatula, gently scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove any browned bits from when the steak was cooking. Season with salt to taste, and let it reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the steak against the grain into 1" slices. Set them on a serving plate and pour the jus on top.
- Serve with chimichurri on the side, and enjoy.
- Steak: Churrasco steak is generally made with skirt steak, about 1/2-inch in thickness. But flank steak is a good alternative.
- Orange Juice: If you can, use freshly squeezed orange juice, but you can also use store-bought orange juice.
- Serrano Chile: You can use a jalapeno instead. In both cases, I recommend seeding the pepper.
- Jus: This is a fancy word for a simple sauce made from the caramelization of animal proteins on a hot pan.
- Don’t crowd the pan: If you crowd the pan, not only will the steak not brown properly, but it will release all of its moisture, leaving you with a tough, dry finished product. If you want to double the recipe, don’t cook two steaks in the same skillet simultaneously.
- Allow the Steaks to Rest: Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle in the meat, producing a more flavorful, juicy steak.
- Cutting against the grain makes steak more tender and easier to chew.
- Grilled Churrasco: To grill the steaks, place the steaks on a preheated grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Two minutes will yield medium-rare steaks, while three minutes will get you closer to medium-well. Remove them from the heat and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
- Steak Doneness: The ideal internal temperature for grilled skirt steak is 130°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, 145°F medium, 150°F medium well, and 160°F for well done. Keep in mind that meat will continue to rise a few degrees once it’s off the grill.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.