When it comes to camping food, go bold or go home is my motto. This is no time for subtlety.
So, when Pedro (my dad) showed up at the campsite with some steaks last week. I was all in. He simply sprinkled salt and pepper on the steaks and got to grilling. His hint for you today is that starting with defrosted steaks still a bit cold in the center helps to keep the rare in medium rare when things start moving quickly on the charcoal grill. A fair bit of marbling on a steak is desirable, because you want that fat to melt and season the steak as opposed to drying out a leaner cut.
I decide to surprise everyone with a different sort of dressing for the steak: a mango chimichurri salsa, a riff on the parsley-based Argentinean salsa for steeak.
I had two mangoes, one quite ripe and one not-quite ripe. I slice them down on either side of the pit, then score each resulting cup in diamond shapes. I turn the peel inside out and cut the chunks off the peel. The remaining flesh on the pit I peel and eat off directly before anyone tries to get it from me.
So I did that, bunged all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed and served. You’ll notice the measurements are fairly vague on this one; it really is a matter of taste. You want the sweet of the ripe mango to balance with the tart of the lime and the less-ripe mango; a little sharpness from the onion and maybe a little garlic. The chile pepper gives it a punctuation of heat. So it is balanced and it stands up well to the salt and pepper and fat of the charcoal-grilled steak. This works for chicken and seafood too! We rounding it out with skewered grilled vegetables and couscous with pesto for the carb-craving kid. For additional camping recipes click here. For another riff on steak, Pedro’s perfect churrasco, click here.
Easy as pie. Easier, actually. Pie is hard!
Mango Chimichurri Salsa
2 mangoes (at least one of them should be fairly ripe; a mix of ripe and less ripe makes it interesting), cubed small
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs finely minced onion (preferably red)
1 tsp finely minced garlic (optional)
Squeeze of lime
¼ tsp or more of chili powder
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
Sprinkle of salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl a few minutes to a half hour before serving. Serve as salsa with chips or as a chimichurri with grilled meats or fish.