We Have Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Best Steak Recipe

A super-simple preparation, plus a mini-course in home fermenting

January 6, 2023 6:30 am
Beef sirloin, Chimichurri Sauce with Lime and Shoestring Fries
Beef sirloin, Chimichurri Sauce with Lime and Shoestring Fries
Matador Room

Beneath Matador Room’s restored chandelier, evocative of the glitz and glam of ’50s supper clubs, world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has crafted a menu that suits Miami to a T. Redolent with flavors from Caribbean, Spanish, Latin and South American influences, the chef’s dishes are every bit as multifaceted as the city itself. Case in point: His beef sirloin, delicious in its simplicity.

“It’s a great representation of South American flavors, with the use of traditional herbs and spices found in most Latin countries within the classic chimichurri sauce,” explains Lateisha Wilson, chef de cuisine at Vongerichten’s Matador Room.

While the steak itself is simple, to make the sauce properly, you’ll need to start the day before. Jalapeño, orange peel and salt are combined and fermented for at least a day to develop zing and heat.

“Anyone cooking this recipe at home has no reason to be intimidated by home fermenting, as there are only three simple steps,” says Wilson, noting that the ingredients are first blended and then left overnight at room temperature. The liquid is strained off, reserved, she suggests, for a dressing or sauce. The remaining paste is added to the chimichurri.

“I wouldn’t suggest substituting the green chili ferment as it adds a freshness to the dish,” she says, “but if necessary, any other spicy and salty paste will do.”

With the ferment made, this dish couldn’t be simpler. The sirloin is generously seasoned with a blend of kosher salt, sugar, cumin and black pepper — a welcome addition, the chef says, to any poultry or red meat.

“The smoky, salty and sweet flavors of the seasoning mix can be used in almost anything, such as a simple popcorn, as it is very versatile and flavorful,” she says, noting that given the long shelf life of the ingredients, she recommends creating a big batch of the seasoning for easy access.

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The steak itself is cooked over a screaming hot grill to get the perfect balance of charred bark on the inside and medium-rare juiciness within. Topped with the sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime, it’s the ideal way to jazz up a steak any day of the week.

Sirloin with Chimichurri and Lime

Cook Time: Overnight

Servings: 1

  • 10 ounces sirloin
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Lime, as needed
  • Fleur de sel and black pepper
  • For the green chili ferment
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) jalapeños
  • 10 grams (about 5 teaspoons) orange peel (about ⅕ of whole orange)
  • 20 grams (1 heaping tablespoon) salt
  • For the chimichurri
  • 200 grams (3⅓ cups) parsley leaves
  • 75 grams (1¼ cups) cilantro leaves
  • 50 grams (1¾ cups) mint leaves
  • 700 grams (3⅓ cups) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 grams (4 to 5 cloves) garlic, germ removed
  • 75 grams (½ cup) minced shallots
  • 1 recipe green chili ferment (see below)
  • 9 grams (1½ teaspoon) cumin, toasted and ground
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • For the spice mix
  • 430 g (1½ cups) kosher salt
  • 105 g (½ cup) sugar
  • 50 g (8 tablespoons) cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 60 g (8⅔ tablespoons) black pepper, ground
    1. The day before, make the green chili ferment. Combine the jalapeño, orange peel and salt. Blend until medium smooth. Place in a jar, and let sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours. (If the room is too cool, the fermentation process will slow down, and if the room is too warm, the fermentation process will speed up.) The next day, strain the mix to separate the liquid from the paste. The liquid can be reserved for another use.

    2. Make the chimichurri. Blanch and shock the herbs, then, using sport towels, squeeze out any water. Combine ⅓ of the herbs with the olive oil and garlic, and purée until smooth in the blender. Cool over ice, then return to the blender with the remaining herbs, and blend until a coarse mash forms. Cool over ice, then mix with the shallots, green chili ferment, cumin and salt. Set aside.

    3. Season the steak liberally with the spice mixture, then coat well in extra-virgin olive oil and caramelize on a very hot grill until a thick, uniform bark is obtained — about 4 to 5 minutes per side (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130º F) for medium-rare. Cut on the bias into five equal pieces.

    4. Spoon the sauce into a ramekin, and finish the steak with microplaned lime zest, sea salt, black pepper and a wedge of lime.


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