Grilled Cesina is my favorite cut of beef. Most people have never heard of it. But if you’ve ever eaten at an authentic Brazilian restaurant, and saw waiters carving beef at the table from a large skewer, chances are that was Cesina (or “Fraldinha” in Brazil). In North America, this wonderful cut of beef has a rather unflattering name: Flap.
Cesina — like the Skirt steak and Flank steak — comes from the inside of the carcass. They are all relatively thin cuts of beef that don’t survive the dry-aging process. So we cut them when carcasses first arrive at our facility, and then wet age them for at least 3 weeks for tenderness.
The two most popular ways of cooking these cuts are (1) first marinade and then grill, or (2) grill and then serve with a Chimichurri sauce. I love both ways. But the last time I served grilled Cesina with a Chimichurri sauce, it was a big hit and people asked for the recipe.
- 1 large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley (remove most but not all stems)
- 5 or 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 Scallion or 1 small red onion
- 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves
- 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 or 2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (I sometimes use the seeds from one fresh Panamanian chili)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Finely chop all ingredients and mix together. You can use a food processor if you’re in a hurry. It will still taste good. But Chimichurri is meant to be a liquid with pieces of parsley and garlic in it — not something so blended that it looks like green ketchup.
If you make and serve your Chimichurri immediately, it will have a wonderful fresh green color. But the flavor of Chimichurri actually improves with a little time. (Some of the best Chimichurri I’ve ever tasted was dark brown instead of green.)
So I recommend letting your Chimichurri sit in a refrigerator overnight, to allow all the flavors to blend and mellow. As long as you keep it refrigerated, it will last more than a week. And it has many uses … it’s great on grilled vegetables … as a base for salad dressing … garlic bread, etc.
We just uploaded new inventory of Skirt steak, Flank steak, and Cesina to the online Butcher Shop at https://haciendasur.com/butcher-shop….