Last fall we flew as a family to Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit my mom who happened to be living there for a short time. She had already picked out the best little restaurants tucked away on quiet streets. On each crisp white tablecloth you would find criolla with bread and a amazing glass of local Malbec. We couldn't get enough criolla and knew that we would have to eventually do our best to re-create it at home.
Although it is traditionally served with bread, we found the oil base of the criolla really adds flavor to venison hamsteak. It is also especially good on eggs for breakfast. The sunflower oil will give it a lighter flavor than the olive oil. We used cilantro instead of parsley because it is used more often in dishes in our area. This version is made with one of our favorite summer peppers which seem to be one of the only things that have made it through this hot, dry summer, hinklehatz peppers.
Venison Hamsteak with Criolla
2/3 cup red onion, chopped finely
2/3 cup local tomatoes, seeded and chopped finely, available at Wheatsville
1/3 cup local bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely, Johnson's Backyard Garden
8 local hinklehatz peppers, seeded and chopped finely, our garden and JBG
4 cloves garlic, minced
cilantro or parsley to taste
salt & pepper
1/2 cup olive or sunflower oil, Texas Olive Ranch
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
For the venison hamsteak (or tenderized skirt or flank steak) season with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill. Grill on high heat for 5 minutes or so a side depending on the cut of meat.
We served ours with grilled kale. Lightly drizzle kale with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for a few seconds on each side so that it just begins to wilt. Serve immediately with a little extra sea salt.