Carne Asada with Chimichurri and Grilled Leeks


It’s that time of year again! School has officially started which means friends, parties, anddddd alas, tuition fees. As someone who has just embarked on ANOTHER four year degree (somebody STOP me), I’m always testing out interesting ways to use cheaper ingredients. Tonight, in celebration of my first week of dental school complete, I’m whipping up a delicious steak dinner which sounds really expensive, I know! But you don’t always need to work with the perfect cut of steak to make a delicious steak dinner. In my take on carne asada (basically a Mexican grilled beef dish) you can use a flank, flat iron, or top sirloin steak. They are all very flavourful, but much cheaper than your ribeye or filet minion cuts. These cheaper cuts tend to be thinner, which means they bode well to marinating first and stand up very well to bold flavours.

I marinate the steak in a simple blend of spices, and then grill it to a nice medium-rare. I top the steak with a delicious chimichurri (a garlic-y, spicy blend of fresh herbs). I’m using parsley, cilantro and oregano, but this is really a great way to use up any leftover fresh herbs you have lying around at the end of the week.

Finally, I serve the steak on top of grilled leeks. I LOVE leaks because they are slightly milder than onions, and they are so stunning to look at! They can be grilled, sauteed or roasted, but today I’m grilling them up because it’s easy, and pairs well with the grilled steak (feel free to substitute with 1/2 inch whole rounds of white or red onion if you’ve got them on hand).

Serve the whole dish with some lime wedges to brighten it up, and some crumbled queso fresco (or feta) for a salty kick! These Mexican flavours are so tangy and bright, yet they don’t overpower the meaty goodness of the steak. This is a great way to use up any leftover herbs you have in the fridge!





Carne Asada with Chimichurri and Grilled Leeks

Total Time: 1 hour Hands-on time: 20 minutes Serves: 2-3
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour



  • For the steak
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

For the chimichurri

  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh parsley , loosely packed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro , loosely packed
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ jalapeno*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For everything else

  • 0.5 kg cut of steak (flank, flat iron, top sirloin)
  • 2 leeks , washed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for leeks
  • 1 tbsp queso fresco (or feta cheese), crumbled
  • Some fresh leaves of cilantro for garnish
  • ½ lime , cut into wedges



  1. Mix the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Coat the steak in olive oil, and then sprinkle the spice rub generously over the steak, massaging the rub into the meat and ensuring the whole thing is coated. Place the steak in a ziploc bag and marinate in the fridge until 20 minutes before grilling. Remove the ziploc bag from the fridge and keep at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.
  2. While steak is marinating, prepare the chimichurri. Using a hand-blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, parsley, cilantro, oregano, jalapeño, and garlic. Drizzle in the red wine vinegar slowly, until the chimichurri has formed a thick, pesto-like consistency. Add salt and pepper at the end according to taste.
  3. Prepare the leeks by slicing them lengthwise into four, without slicing the bottom off (the bottom is what keeps the leeks together for grilling). Drizzle with olive oil to avoid sticking to grill. Preheat the grill to high, and place leeks directly on heat. Flip once leeks are well charred, about 1 minute. Once charred on both sides, remove leeks from direct heat and place on other side of grill without heat.
  4. Close lid and let cook another 5 minutes, or until soft.
  5. While leeks cook off direct heat, place steak on high heat side of grill. Cook until the first side has good grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes, or until medium-rare and pink in the middle (depends on thickness of steak, but usually these cheaper cuts are thinner and do not require more than 6-8 minutes). Check steak for doneness by squishing down with index finger. The steak should have the same feeling as the thickest part of the heel of your palm. Set aside to rest for 6-8 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  6. Assemble the dish. Cut the leeks into thirds, and arrange them on serving dish. Slice the steak against the grain and very thinly. Arrange over the leeks. Drizzle the steak generously with the chimichurri, and garnish with fresh cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, and lime wedges. Enjoy!


  1. Anonymous
    September 8, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Found you on instagram! lovin this!

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