“Tell me about the Pork Coppa Steaks.”
The head butcher Jered smiled. “They’re my absolute favorite. Sweet, almost, due to the nice amount of fat. A beautiful cut. Just grill it with salt and pepper.”
As I walked home, the gears started turning. I thought of the epic trip I took to Patagonia with my Dad in 2008. In between wet, windy treks, we’d layover in transitory mountain towns and inevitably feast on steaks with chimichurri. My dad is a condiment gaucho, and chimichurri was a total coup. He’d ladle heaping spoonfuls of it with glee. Beside this nostalgia-fueled main, I’d also stirred up a fantasy side: golden rosemary-scented fries like they do on Pinterest.
That’s how soulful meals come to be. In between memory and desire, there’s this place of timeless pleasure.
ROSEMARY FRENCH FRIES with SEA SALT
for 3-4 servings:
6 large Russet potatoes
5-6 fresh rosemary sprigs
flaky sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Cut the potatoes into long, thin strips. Let them sit on a wire rack and use a paper towel to wipe away any moisture. On a medium-high flame, heat the oil in a large, deep pot, leaving at least 5 inches at the top for safety. Once the oil is hot (test with one fry; it should immediate bubble), place one batch of fries in the oil. Be careful not to crowd. Fry until golden brown. In the last 10 seconds of each batch, add a spring of rosemary into the oil and stir. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Toss the fries in a large bowl with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
PORK COPPA STEAKS with CHIMICHURRI
for 4 servings:
4 pork coppa steaks (or beef ribeye steaks)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6-8 garlic cloves
for the chimichurri:
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup or so of olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Blend the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor or blender and set aside. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet on medium-high flame and add the butter and a healthy amount of canola oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the steaks and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until the pork is cooked through and the outside is nicely charred. Remove the steaks and let the pork rest for about 5 minutes before serving with the chimichurri.