Day Thirty Two: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri

12 Jul

I have a bad habit of buying basil and never being able to finish it before it goes bad. At Whole Foods, or at least ours, you have to buy a rather large container of it and frankly, not everything I cook works well with basil. I’m also not big on making a ton of pesto to freeze – I just find it so much better when it is freshly made. But that is just me.

Anyway, so I decided that I was not going to waste basil this time. It is just too good to waste, and I get so mad every time I realize I’ve made that mistake, yet again. I used some this week for a chilled roasted beet side dish, but had a ton left over. That led to this recipe, one that I thought would be great way to use more of it up. A fresh basil chimichurri would definitely pair well with marinated and grilled pork kebabs, right? Yep, it did.

This recipe is so darn easy, it is like child’s play. Some of the best recipes are the simplest, with no complicated methods, ingredients or flavors. Marinate the meat overnight and grill, throw sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix for 30 seconds. Done. It would really make a great dish when you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to be cooking when you have guests over, since the sauce and pork is mostly prepared ahead of time. All you have to do at game time is grill.

The fresh flavors make this a great summer meal. I served it with a roasted fingerling potato and arugula salad and some grilled spring onions, as well as an Argentinian Malbec – delicious side dishes and wine. The pork was juicy, tender, and nicely charred on the outside, with just the right amount of lemon coming through from the marinade. The chimichurri added to the bright flavors and pulled it together nicely. The dinner really was perfect for eating outside on the deck overlooking Lake Tahoe (well, what we see of it at least). We finally have summer here, and the weather is just too good not to be eating every single meal al fresco.

Note that the recipe will probably yield more chimichurri than you’ll need. I’m planning to use the rest mixed with roasted fingerling potatoes, or perhaps on some grilled chicken. I have a feeling it would be good with anything, really, even just eaten on it’s own!

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri

(Serves about 3)

For Pork and Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut int 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
For Basil Chimichurri:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine marinade ingredients together in a bowl and transfer to a ziploc bag or dish. Add pork and move around to coat. Marinade up to 24 hours in refrigerator.

About 2 hours before you are ready to grill, make the chimichurri. Combine sauce ingredients together and cover; transfer to refrigerator until ready to use. You’ll want the flavors to infuse and develop before you serve it.

Prepare grill at medium (with a gas grill) until hot. Put pork pieces on metal skewers and grill until done, turning once, about 14 minutes total.

To serve, remove pieces of pork and put on plate; top with chimichurri.


One Response to “Day Thirty Two: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM #

    This is gorgeous. Although, I’m the opposite. Basil goes too fast in my house.

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