Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Argentine Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Salsa Criolla

Scott Phillips

Servings: twelve.

Chimichurri is the star salsa of the Argentine grill, but the lesser known salsa criolla was my favorite when I visited that country. Full of onions, red peppers, and herbs, the mixture is a light but intensely flavorful condiment for grilled steak.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-1/2 lb. fl ank steak (about 3 medium steaks), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and fi nely diced (about 1-1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced (about 1-1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 65
  • Sodium (mg): 615
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 35


  • In a small bowl, mix about two-thirds of the garlic paste with 1 Tbs. of the thyme, 2 tsp. of the black pepper, the chili powder, brown sugar, and 1-1/2 Tbs. of the salt. Arrange the steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and pat the spice rub all over them. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
  • In a 1-qt. sealable container, combine the tomato, onion, red pepper, oil, and vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and the remaining garlic paste, 1 Tbs. thyme, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Shake well. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving.
  • Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Grill the steak (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the fi rst side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the steak; if using a gas grill, reduce the heat to medium  and cover the grill. Continue to cook until done to your liking (make a slit in the steak to take a peek), 4 to 5 minutes more for medium rare; 6 to 7 minutes more for medium.
  • Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and then slice thinly across the grain. Stir or shake the salsa criolla and serve with the steak.

The supple, fruity flavors of Black Box Merlot, from California, pair well with the steak, and the 3-liter box is perfect for serving a crowd.

Use any leftover steak and salsa criolla together in Steak & Eggs Rancheros.


Rate or Review

Reviews (14 reviews)

  • Stasia | 03/18/2019

    Have made this a half-dozen times, it's always good but I've learned that we enjoy it most when I purchase a choice steak at our upscale meat counter and have them run it through "the tenderizer," and hold way back on the liquids in the salsa so it's not too thin. I didn't have fresh thyme on hand so used dried thyme instead and added finely chopped parsely - delicious! Was pleasantly surprised that a seasoned flank was still wonderful after forgetting it in the freezer for 6 months. Mashed potatoes and sauteed greens or a salad are favorite, easy accompaniments.

  • chitownguy | 07/01/2018

    I've made this maybe a dozen times and it's always a winner. I can eat the salsa on anything.

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial