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Sazon Rub Beef Roast with Chimichurri


A South American dry spice blend called Sazon and a fresh chimichurri sauce make this roast beef rump both fragrant and flavoursome.

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The recipe comes from the cookbook Spice Health Heroes, by American chef Natasha MacAller, which features 100 recipes and information on the culinary and nutritional benefits of more than 30 spices.

MacAller writes in the recipe introduction: “A popular cut of beef known in South America as ‘cuadril’ and elsewhere as rump roast or tri-tip, this is a shoulder of beef with the fat cap intact. This spice crust is inspired by the hugely popular South American dry spice blend sazon. This blend is packed full of fresh oregano, garlic and spices.

“You can apply the rub to the beef up to two days ahead and the sauce, too, can be made a day in advance. Chimichurri Argentina is a parsley and oregano-packed, pesto-type sauce, bright with vinegar and hot with chilies.”

Sazon Rub Beef Roast with Chimichurri

Serves 4–6

Recipe and image from Spice Health Heroes, by Natasha MacAller, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99.

Recipe and image from Spice Health Heroes, by Natasha MacAller, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99.


1kg piece of beef rump cap (aged 3 months is ideal)

For the sazon rub:
1 tbsp grapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp fresh oregano
2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp dried mint
½ tsp ground turmeric

For the chimichurri Argentina:
2 bunches (60g) fresh parsley
1 bunch (25g) fresh oregano
4 garlic cloves, peeled
120ml (½ cup) apple cider (or juice)
½ apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 whole fresh red jalapeño or other chili pepper, seeded and chopped
120ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil


Combine the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pat the beef dry using kitchen paper. Score the fat, making incisions about 1cm deep 5mm apart. Brush with oil to coat. Pack the rub into the fat on top of the beef, then cover and chill for 2 hours. Remove the beef from the fridge at least an hour before cooking to let it come to room temperature.

Make the chimichurri Argentina. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor, or small blender, and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly drizzle in the oil until combined, adding more if you wish. Spoon into a serving bowl, cover and chill until needed.

Turn on the extractor fan, then heat a stovetop grill pan/plate or barbecue to medium-high; place the beef on it, fat-side up, and cook for about 6 minutes, then carefully turn it over and cook fat-side down for an additional 6 to 8 minutes. Test for doneness with a thermometer if you like (it should have reached 55C/130F for rare/medium–rare).

Remove from heat and transfer to a carving board. Loosely cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Thinly slice the beef across the grain and serve with the chimichurri Argentina.

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