Steak Asado

2-pound porterhouse steak
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for rubbing steak
1 avocado, peeled, halved and pitted
Squeeze of lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil (if pan-frying)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Rub the steak with 1 teaspoon of the salt, then set steak on a plate and let it come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare chimichurri. In a food processor, combine the garlic, cilantro, mint, parsley, cayenne and remaining salt. Puree until chunky smooth.

With processor running, slowly drizzle in the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Puree until smooth. Transfer chimichurri to a bowl and set aside.

Cut each avocado half into small cubes and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with the lime juice and toss to coat. Set aside.

Just before cooking, rub steak with a bit of olive oil.

If grilling, preheat grill to about 450 F.

Place steak on hottest part of grill and sear for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Reduce heat on one side of grill and move steak there. Cook for an additional 8 to 12 minutes, flipping steak after about 4 to 5 minutes.

To pan-fry, heat the peanut oil in a heavy pan until almost smoking. Sear steak for 3 minutes on each side before reducing heat. Cook for an additional 8 to 12 minutes over moderate heat, turning it every few minutes.

When pan-frying steaks more than 2 inches thick, you may want to finish cooking it by putting it, oven-safe pan and all, in a 400 F oven. This will cook interior without burning exterior.

However you cook steak, aim for about 120 F to 130 F on an instant-read thermometer for rare to medium-rare. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to an oven-safe plate, tent with foil and let rest in a warm oven 5 minutes.

To serve, pour a pool of chimichurri sauce onto each plate or use one large platter. Slice steak and arrange it on each plate. Top with a neat pile of diced avocado.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe adapted from "The New Steak," by Cree LeFavour.


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