The Cuban Churrasco Steak

The churrasco steak is attributed to the cuisine of Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Argentina is known as the land of the churrasco, while in Paraguay and Uruguay they have their own version which could be a tender beef fillet grilled to perfection.

Churrasco refers to any boneless cut of beef that is sliced slightly thin as a steak and grilled over hot coals or on a very hot skillet.

Although this type of steak is not a traditional Cuban dish, it became popular among the Cubans in Miami thanks to the Nicaraguans who introduced it in their restaurants. It soon was added to many Cuban restaurants and is served with Cuban-style chimichurri sauce, moros, and either sweet plantains or tostones.  

Here is a recipe so you can prepare your own churrasco steak at home.


This serves 4 people.

It is the classic recipe from Three Guys from Miami.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Total time: 28 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

To make it tender and full of flavor, the churrasco steak is typically marinated in this marinade:


3 pounds beef skirt steak, cut long
3 heads garlic (about 30 to 40 cloves)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 and 1/2 cups sour orange juice (If you can’t get sour orange juice in your area, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
1 cup onion, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1 cup olive oil

How to prepare the Cuban version of Chimichurri sauce.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: Enough for 4 steaks

Our “Cubanized” version of this Argentinean sauce, uses cilantro instead of parsley.


1 large bunch cilantro leaves
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
1 lime (Juice only)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion
Dash or two red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions:

1/2 cup sweet red peppers chopped
1/2 cup minced tomato
1/2 cup fresh oregano, chopped

We like to make it the easy way. Put everything except the olive oil in a blender and using the “chop” setting, pulse on and off until you have a thick mixture. Do not over process! This is the kind of dish you need to taste and adjust so that you get just the right flavor! So taste it! (The best way to taste it is with a piece of bread.) Whisk in the olive oil. (If you use the blender to incorporate the oil, the oil and liquids will emulsify, giving your chimichurri a white, paste-like texture.)

Add salt, pepper, more vinegar and lime juice as needed. The flavor should be very intense with garlic and cilantro. Don’t be stingy with the salt either!

Several restaurants add to the dish by adding some (or all) of the optional additions. However, we like it just fine without the additions. See what you like — experiment!

Mojo Marinade

To make the marinade:

Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. Whisk the garlic-orange juice mixture with the olive oil until well blended.

Preparing the Meat

Preparing the meat is very easy. Place the meat in a large bowl or pan. Add enough mojo marinade to cover the meat. Place a cover over the bowl or pan and place in the refrigerator a minimum of five hours, but preferably overnight.

Grilling the Meat

Grill the marinated steaks outdoors on a gas or charcoal grill — make sure your coals are hot and white! You can cook them however you like your steak — from rare to well done. However, we recommend that you cook it RARE!

The rarer the meat, the more tender and flavorful!

Serve the meat with the chimichurri sauce — it tastes great!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lily says:

    Love the recipe but u should find a way to make ur recipe printable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s